Disciplinary forces focus on mental health


HEADS of the three disciplinary forces gathered with staff of the mental health branch of the Department of Health to commemorate World Health Day at the police headquarters yesterday.
Police Commissioner Gari Baki said the three disciplinary forces agreed that their officers’ mental health was given little attention over the years and they would now make it compulsory for officers to have medical checks and access counselling services.
“The nature of our jobs places us in situations which affect our mental health. Most times we are the first respondents to a murder or accident scene and  this can affect us psychologically.
“I am initiating compulsory medical checks for my members from 2017 onwards,” Baki said.
PNGDF chief of staff Colonel Raymond Numa said soldiers must be physically, mentally and spiritually fit to perform their duties.
“We are seriously looking at it, doing counselling after every activity and we do, because we have learnt from the Bougainville crisis.
Correctional Service deputy commissioner Stephen Pokanis said an unhealthy workforce suffering from mental illness was no use to the development of the country.

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