Submission to Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment – inquiry into the mental health of first responders

Crowley-Cyr, Lynda and Hevers, James (2018) Submission to Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment – inquiry into the mental health of first responders. Other monograph. Parliament of Australia , Canberra, Australia. [Report]


The mental health of employees within Australia’s law enforcement agencies has proven to be challenging a challenging problem for organisational leaders to tackle. With one in four officers found to be experiencing moderate to high psychological distress at any one time, and the death of four Australian Federal Police officers by suicide with their firearms inside their workplaces in two years, this submission argues that the workplace health and safety regulatory schemes are failing to protect the health and safety of federal and state police as first responders. In doing so, it refers to two major reports in 2017-2018 (a report from post-traumatic mental health support group Phoenix Australia and an ANAO report on how the AFP is managing the mental health of its employees) that found problems like poor understanding of mental health issues in management, and officers reluctant to self-report struggles for fear of being bullied and other repercussions for speaking up. In addition, concerns about confidentiality, the impact on their pay and career prospects and the aggravated harm caused by applying for workers compensation, have all been disclosed repeatedly in police reports and in news reports. The submission concludes with a range of recommendations to mainly the workplace health and safety laws but also it calls for the reporting of suicides, and the rates of bullying in compensation claims by police and other first responders, to be made publicly available.

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Item Type: Report (Other monograph)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Accepted Version.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2019 23:48
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2019 04:17
Uncontrolled Keywords: mental health; law enforcement officers; Australia
Fields of Research : 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180199 Law not elsewhere classified
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology

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