New Mental Health Funding for Police Officers

The Police Dependants’ Trust is providing new funding  for officers requiring private mental health care in the unlikely event they are sectioned.

On the very rare occasion when an officer is sent to prison a formal risk assessment is undertaken with plans to mitigate risks. This is not the case for hospital admissions under the Mental Health Act. This issue was first highlighted to the Police Dependants’ Trust by Chief Constable Giles York of Sussex Police.

Chief Constable York said: “It is so important to me that the Police Dependants’ Trust has recognised and understood the extremely sensitive nature of a situation when a Police Officer is sectioned alongside others who have sometimes adversely encountered policing. An officer who had experienced this, told me he believed he had been discharged, not because he was sufficiently recovered, but because they could not ensure his personal safety in the event of other patients discovering that he was a police officer.

“The provision of funding from the PDT for police officers to be able to secure private health care is a fantastic development and will help protect the safety and wellbeing of our officers in those rare circumstances where they require mental health support”.

The Trust will now provide funding for serving UK police officers suffering from acute mental illness to be treated in private secure residential settings.

Our Chief Executive, Gill Scott-Moore, said: “There is no national data about the number of officers who are sectioned but we believe it to be a rarity. That said, if it does happen it is only right that officers have access to a safe and healthy environment where they can get the treatment they need, without fear of reprisals resulting from their policing careers.”

In the event of an officer needing this support, applications for funding will be made by Chief Constables directly to the Trust. The first four weeks of any secure residential stay will be reimbursed; longer stays will be funded but will require prior approval from the Trust and will be regularly reviewed on a case by case basis.