The Minister Designate for the Interior, Ambrose Dery, has advised police commanders to pay attention to the grievances of junior officers to curb suicidal cases among personnel.
Mr Dery who gave the advice at the opening of a four-day course on mental health for Senior Police Officers charged them to exhibit true leadership at various levels saying: “When an officer reports to you, take note of the mannerisms of that officer and if you notice anything strange in their behaviour, please engage them. Don’t be dismissive of their concerns or grievances.”
The course, organised by the Ghana Police Service, in collaboration with the Ghana Psychological Association, will enhance the knowledge base of participants to resolve issues pertaining to mental conditions of police personnel.
Mr Dery said the mental state of personnel was critical to ensuring effective service delivery and lauded the Police Administration for making mental health a mainstream course in police training.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh, said the course would be replicated across the country to address some fundamental health concerns of personnel.
He said policing was one of the most stressful, demanding and potentially depressing professions and, globally, among most law enforcement officers, suicide had been considered an occupational hazard.
That was due to job stress, long hours of work, societal pressure, adjustment problems, unmet expectations, fierce threats in the line of duty, exposure to dangers and accident scenes, marital problems, availability of firearms and alcoholism, the IGP said.
The IGP said the setting up of a Counselling Unit indicated the commitment of the Police Service to improve the psychological wellbeing of members.
Commissioner of Police, Mrs Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, Director-General of Welfare, said personnel needed to speak up about the issues that burdened them to have them resolved.
She advised the senior officers to be observant to the change in behaviour of officers and find ways to draw them to themselves so they would open up.