Two week chase of rum thieves leads to charge of two Monto males.
Two week chase of rum thieves leads to charge of two Monto males. John Gass

Mental health support for our frontline workers

AS FIRST responders, police are on the scene of traumatic incidents almost immediately and access to mental health services is in significant demand.

Everything from serious domestic violence matters and traffic crashes to attending to the injured or dead can have a substantial impact on the men in blue on the front line.

Kingaroy police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Duane Frank has worked in the industry for almost 27 years and said it was not an easy job.

"It's a very stressful job, it's ordinary people doing extraordinary things in difficult circumstances," Snr Sgt Frank said.

"Over the years you do see a lot of things you wouldn't want your family to see, so you do come up with your own different mechanisms with dealing with it."

Snr Sgt Frank said the South Burnett had trained police who acted as peer support officers and two police chaplains as well as QPS human services officers there for support.

After an incident, they also had debriefings to make sure peace of mind was restored.

Although the support was there, he said people tended to deal with it in different ways.

"Nothing can really prepare them to attend to a multi-vehicle car crash with people stuck inside the vehicle or attending to suicides or horrific deaths," Snr Sgt Frank said.

"If they need to talk to someone, there is always that service available."

Further mental health support is in the form of Blue Hope - a nationwide organisation formed in 2014 to support police officers and their families to cope with PTSD, suicide and other mental health issues.

The organisation offers support in the way of social media but once contact is made, a face-to-face meeting is organised.

Co-founder of Blue Hope Andrew Ayres said mental health issues were a serious issue and police could never have too many options when it came to support.

Get help

If you are a current or former police officer and you need confidential help, email help@bluehope.org.au.

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