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108 police officers diagnosed with mental illness- police psychologist reveals

A police psychologist has revealed that about 108 police officers have been diagnosed with different mental illness.

ASP Foster Nanewortor speaking at the workshop

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Foster Nanewortor, a clinical psychologist, said of the 108 number, four of them committed personal suicide.

He made the startlingly comments at a health sensitisation workshop organised by the Accra Regional Command to educate the officers on the need to manage stress and its impacts that lead to negative effects.

The Ghanaian Times newspaper that first reported the story in its January 18, 2019, edition.

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ASP Nanewortor, who is the only serving clinical psychologist in the service, said the trend is growing because of the stressful nature of police work.

“Over the few years, we have experienced trends of suicide among officers and this is due to the nature of our work which is very stressful, therefore we have to reach out to them on some of the things they can do to minimise stress when the need arises,” the Times quoted him as saying.

He also disclosed that there were three attempted suicides last year, adding that 60 per cent of the figure resorted to the use of alcohol when they were stressed.

He said alcohol usage was one of the negative coping mechanisms, “in that you are faced with a situation and you drink alcohol to be able to temporarily relieve yourself from the impact of the situation on you, but at the end you create health issues and it negatively influences the brain.”

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He suggested the need to employ more mental health professionals and clinical psychologists across the country to effectively provide care for officers who would go through stress.

ASP Nanewortor advised officers to find time from off duty and relax, engage in physical exercises that help the body to produce anti-stress hormones that could help them stay fit, eat balance diet, the Times reported.

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