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Sun Xueling on mental health support for Home Team officers

10:34 Min

Between January 2018 and September 2022, the deaths of eight Home Team officers while in service were ruled as suicides. Three other possible suicides are pending coronial investigations. Minister of State for Home Affairs Sun Xueling said this in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 4) in response to questions by members of the House on the mental health of Home Team personnel after a police officer allegedly shot himself at Bayfront Avenue on Sep 19. Ms Sun elaborated on avenues of mental health support. These include resilience and stress management training and how to detect signs of personal distress. Home team supervisors are also trained to identify and support officers who need help. In-house psychological services and 24/7 helplines are provided. External counselling is also available; it is confidential and seeking help has no bearing on officers’ career progression. Where the bearing of firearms is involved, all police officers and auxiliary police officers undergo security vetting before employment, as well as medical and psychological assessments. If officers are deemed at any point to be unsuitable to carry firearms, they will not be issued the weapons and will be redeployed to other duties to allow them to settle down and recover from whatever strains they may be facing, said Ms Sun.

Between January 2018 and September 2022, the deaths of eight Home Team officers while in service were ruled as suicides. Three other possible suicides are pending coronial investigations. Minister of State for Home Affairs Sun Xueling said this in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 4) in response to questions by members of the House on the mental health of Home Team personnel after a police officer allegedly shot himself at Bayfront Avenue on Sep 19. Ms Sun elaborated on avenues of mental health support. These include resilience and stress management training and how to detect signs of personal distress. Home team supervisors are also trained to identify and support officers who need help. In-house psychological services and 24/7 helplines are provided. External counselling is also available; it is confidential and seeking help has no bearing on officers’ career progression. Where the bearing of firearms is involved, all police officers and auxiliary police officers undergo security vetting before employment, as well as medical and psychological assessments. If officers are deemed at any point to be unsuitable to carry firearms, they will not be issued the weapons and will be redeployed to other duties to allow them to settle down and recover from whatever strains they may be facing, said Ms Sun.

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