Tag Archives: PTSD

Spotlight on organisational culture and police mental health (part 1)

In these series of articles, we are taking a close look at the issues plaguing the police agencies in Australia. The people and policies that maintain the status quo at and the ugly stranglehold of mental health stigma.  Note: parts of this article may be distressing to some readers.

Continue reading Spotlight on organisational culture and police mental health (part 1)

Coronial Inquest: Policewoman Suffering From PTSD Killed Herself After Affair With Senior Officer

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A New South Wales policewoman took her own life after having an affair with a senior officer, an inquest has heard.

The married mother of two, who can only be known as Officer A, took her life on July 3, 2013.

Continue reading Coronial Inquest: Policewoman Suffering From PTSD Killed Herself After Affair With Senior Officer

Army Vet Assaults Police While Breaking Out His PTSD Companion Dog From a Shelter

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A former Australian soldier allegedly assaulted police and an RSPCA inspector after breaking his companion dog out of a shelter. Continue reading Army Vet Assaults Police While Breaking Out His PTSD Companion Dog From a Shelter

Critical Incident Follow-ups “Not Necessary” For WA Police Officers

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Phil Hickey at Perth Now writes: A motion for mandatory psychological assessments and follow-up assessments six weeks later for officers who attend critical incidents, such as shootings, was passed at the WA Police Union’s annual conference last month.  Continue reading Critical Incident Follow-ups “Not Necessary” For WA Police Officers

New South Wales Police Officer With PTSD Stalked By Insurance Company Metlife

Amy Shaw is a former New South Wales Police officer battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While there are over a thousand of officers in Australia with PTSD, hers and the case of 300 other officers is unique. Continue reading New South Wales Police Officer With PTSD Stalked By Insurance Company Metlife

Watching News Coverage of Paris Attacks May Take Toll On Viewers

This weekend, the world watched in shock as terrible events unfolded in Paris. The terrorist attacks left at least 129 people dead and hundreds more wounded after a shootout in a popular restaurant in the city, multiple explosions near the Stade de France national stadium and a massacre at the Bataclan concert hall. Continue reading Watching News Coverage of Paris Attacks May Take Toll On Viewers

Montana Police Officer Finds Healing In Sharing His PTSD story

We recently introduced you to a Great Falls police sergeant who courageously shared his story of struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Reporter Shannon Newth has the the next chapter of his story on the road to recovery.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder, brought on by trauma. It can occur from one event, or as a result of cumulative stress. There are three main symptoms – avoidance, re-experiencing the trauma and hyper vigilance There can also be physical symptoms, like high blood pressure and rapid heart rate.

Those with P-T-S-D can recover – Sergeant Rich LaBard is living proof.

“What I really had a hard time with after I went through treatment and got a grasp on what happened to me, was the guilt of leaving this guy, in my mind, to die, but I was ok with that when I made the decision because I was going to save these kids and I was either going to kill this guy or he was going to kill me, so that was how I was ok with spending his life to save the kids. When I got in the house, it was already done,” LaBard said.

August 16, 2004 is a day that changed LaBard. The change wasn’t instantaneous, but rather an unfolding over years. LaBard was first on scene to an active shooter call, where he was forced to leave a man shot in the chest in the yard to proceed – as police training teaches – to a threat inside the house. There he found a man who had just shot himself.

Personality changes, sleepless night, flashbacks, paranoia. Mental and physical symptoms escalated over years, all the while he didn’t connect the dots between incidents and symptoms, suicide became an option to bring peace and solace to the constant noise inside his head.

“I hadn’t gotten to the point where I had made a plan, but I w as certainly headed that way,” LaBard recalled.

Read more and watch the report at KPAX.

New Calls for Laws To Help Veterans With PTSD In Trouble With Police

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Broken veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder should be better protected when questioned by police so they are given the psychological help they need rather than being locked up.

The state opposition is calling for stressed veterans to be classified as “vulnerable persons” so they are given access to legal help before they are questioned – just like children and Indigenous people are.

“All of this could have been avoided if the police had stopped the interview and contacted a lawyer” – RSL NSW chief executive officer Glenn Kolomeitz

Shadow veterans affairs minister Guy Zangari is calling for changes to the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Legislation, because there are no protections for veterans diagnosed as suffering PTSD as a result of active service.

“There is ample evidence to show many veterans suffering PTSD find it difficult to represent themselves properly when arrested. They need to be protected by the system, not crushed by it,” he said.

Read more in Brisbane Times.