Mental health found to be a serious concern for police due to the risk of injury to police and mental health consumers when dealing with mental health related incidents and to the time taking by police in the handover of mental health consumers into the health care system.
To response to such concern, the Mental Health Intervention Team (MHIT) found and commenced as a two years pilot program in July 2007 and formed its basis on the Crises Intervention Team Concept which bears its origin in Memphis, USA and was modified to meet the needs and operating environment of the NSW police. The program supported and funded by the NSW Health.
The aim of the program is to reduce the risk concerns the police in this field and seek to educate them with respect to identifying behaviours in the field of indicative of mental illness and provide them with tools such as communication strategies, risk assessment, de-escalation and crises intervention techniques and to gain an understanding of the current Mental Health Act 2007.
The program as well aims to improve police awareness of mental health consumers and to improve collaboration with other government and non-government agencies in response to, and management of, mental health crises incidents. The program since then has shown successful and positive outcomes.
Based on the positive outcome and the success of the program in reducing risk to police officers and mental health consumers, I find myself in the favour of supporting the argument that police officers needs to undertake such training and to be updated regularly with any changes may apply to the Mental Health Act.
Author Dhafir Al Shammery
Dhafir is one of the highest qualified managers in security with a Master degree in policing, intelligence & Counter Terrorism. His Higher education obtained in the security studies enables him to implement and execute the right security measures, policies, strategies and methodologies required. Dhafir has been working in the Security Industry since 1998 and been the security consultant for a number of companies within Australia and overseas. Dhafir participations in conferences, discussions and strategic studies in the security field nationally and internationally have added to his knowledge and have a significant impact on his performance and role to be one of the highest qualified managers in the security industry field.