Police service commission says 13% of officers suffering from mental health issues
At least 13% of serving police officers are suffering from some form of stress related mental illness, this is according to the National Police Service Commission (NPSC).
Officers, largely drawn from the administration police, are admitted to hospital with mental issues even as their commanders were taken through a course to identify and humanely deal with stressed officers.
With grim statistics on mental health casting a cloud over the police service, Deputy Inspector General in charge of Administration Police Noor Gabow led regional, county and section commanders of the administration police from across the country in a sensitization workshop held at the Chiromo Hospital group, targeting mental wellness within the service.
NPSC Chief Executive Officer Joseph Onyango said that 13% of police officers in the country are suffering from some form of mental illness.
“The reasons for which police officers arrive at where they are human resource issues like police promotions, deployment, transfers, trainings, financial management etc,” said Onyango.
The situation to most officers is believed to have been aggravated by working conditions, how their superiors handle them as well as how society despises them.
issues within the police are not disciplinary issues, it is a sickness which
can be treated and we have instructed our commanders and the Inspector General
has given a clear guideline that any officer who is sick or has some mental
issues be brought to these facilities,” said Gabow.
Chiromo Hospital Group CEO Dr. Vincent Hongo said: “We aim for the command, we may not be able to reach every corner of this country, but we believe that if we’re able to access the County Commanders, the senior leadership at the head offices, then they’re able to cascade this information to reach the last officer.”
Officers from different parts of the country are admitted at Chiromo, with NPSC now seeking to increase the level of attention accorded to mental health within the service.
In July 2021, senior police officers drawn from the regular police also underwent training. The officers are expected to share the knowledge with affected colleagues to accord them dignified recovery.
“It’s not the police man who is abnormal, it is the environment that we are putting our police officers in that is abnormal, that is why I will continue to say we as a society have the responsibility of making sure that our very own police officers get commensurate mental health education and protection because we’re the ones who have put them in that particular environment,” said Dr. Frank Njenga, the presidential advisor on mental health.