The Director of Public Affairs for Ghana Police Service, Supt. Sheila Abayie Buckman, has urged police officers who feel stressed or going through psychological issues to seek help from the right people and not resort to suicide.
She observed that due to the nature of the job, sometimes people keep what they may be going through to themselves because they feel when they share it with their colleagues, they may perceive them as weak people.
"Seeking help is the best way to go than thinking of taking your own life," she said.
Her comments come after three policemen allegedly committed suicide within three weeks.
On January 30, the Half Assini District Police Commander, Supt Cyprian Zenge was reported to have shot himself in his house.
Another 50-year-old reportedly died in the early hours of Sunday, February 14, 2021, after being rushed to the Police Hospital.
A police officer with the National Protection Unit (NPU), Constable Eugene Yelnona, also reportedly committed suicide by shooting himself in Accra.
Speaking on Atinka TV's morning show, Ghana Nie, on a topic 'Life Stress and Suicidal Thoughts', Supt. Buckman admitted that the police is a stressful but added that counselling sessions have been provided across the country for the officers.
"There are structures, apart from having professional clinical psychologists and psychiatrists at the Police Hospital, we have a counselling unit under the welfare Secretariat. Pastors in various regions are assigned to such offices. We have a lot of structures depending on the level of what the person is going through," she said.
Supt. Buckman said they have been made to understand that before someone commits suicide, it means that the person has reached a point which needs clinical diagnosis which could include mental issues.
"Before you get there, there are things that need to be done. On the individual level, speak to someone, confide in someone. whatever is bothering you, share with someone who can advise you. We know that our work is stressful, that is why the training is also stressful. The training is supposed to prepare you so that when you are stressed, it will help you."
She also advised the officers against stigmatisation when their colleagues seek their help.
She said the police service has started re-education on stress management to prevent further suicide.
Meanwhile she said the police is investigating the matter to be able to conclude whether the three men really committed suicide.
Ghana| Atinkaonline.com| Porcia Oforiwaa Ofori