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dannyireland

Police Officers and depression

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Hi guy's.

At the moment I have applied for the Met (also have app form for Devon and Cornwall).

The only drama I can see me failing is that I am suffering from depression. I have the depression well under control with medication. I have acted on suicidal thoughts in the past, but obviously haven't succeeded.

I this going to be a problem in the medical?

Cheers,

GD

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This sort of thing is dealt with entirely on its own merit, I'll see if I can find the guidelines somewhere...

EDIT - Can't find them but I'm sure someone has posted them on this site somewhere before. Good luck! :)

Edited by jvt1

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As jvt says it is judged entirely upon the individuals current circumstances - it will warrant further investigation to see how you are managing the condition and whether - like with any other medical condition - it will affect your policing or not. Depression itself is not a bar to being a police officer.

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It might be. To be honest, I think you are best speaking to the forces that you've applied to - as jvt1 says these things are treated on individual merits and it would be a shame if you were incorrectly advised by someone on the forum.

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You're most like be referred to OH or be given the option.

I doubt they'd cease your interest in the role :)

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Sorry to be blunt but I don't think you will have much chance of succeeding. It's a stressful and challenging job at the best of times. The job has given people depression so I very much doubt they will be willing to take you on actually already suffering from it.

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Sorry to be blunt but I don't think you will have much chance of succeeding. It's a stressful and challenging job at the best of times. The job has given people depression so I very much doubt they will be willing to take you on actually already suffering from it.

To the OP, I have previously suffered from episodes of depression which have been treated by way of SSRIs and talking therapies, and passed the medical to become an SC in 2009.

wanabe, firstly, such a blanket bar would likely be unlawful, given the provisions of the Equality Act, as depression may well be regarded as a disability.

Secondly, the National Recruitment Standards - Medical Standards for Police Officers (to be found, here) state that depression is a condition requiring further investigation. Clearly if the condition is not managed, then like many such conditions, it is likely to present a problem, however, there is no blanket ban on sufferers of such conditions.

wanabe, I suggest that your attitude is very blunt, and possibly not based on the correct information. Depression does not necessarily make you mad/crazy/unstable/liable to kill yourself/unable to cope.

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To the OP, I have previously suffered from episodes of depression which have been treated by way of SSRIs and talking therapies, and passed the medical to become an SC in 2009.

wanabe, firstly, such a blanket bar would likely be unlawful, given the provisions of the Equality Act, as depression may well be regarded as a disability.

Secondly, the National Recruitment Standards - Medical Standards for Police Officers (to be found, here) state that depression is a condition requiring further investigation. Clearly if the condition is not managed, then like many such conditions, it is likely to present a problem, however, there is no blanket ban on sufferers of such conditions.

wanabe, I suggest that your attitude is very blunt, and possibly not based on the correct information. Depression does not necessarily make you mad/crazy/unstable/liable to kill yourself/unable to cope.

Were you suffering from depression and considering self harm when you got into the Specials? It would not be unlawful in the slightest.

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Were you suffering from depression and considering self harm when you got into the Specials? It would not be unlawful in the slightest.

No I was not considering self harm; I am not sure where the idea of someone considering self harm has appeared from - the OP states that he has on previous occasions acted on suicidal thoughts - we do not know what he did, or how long ago this was.

I was merely seeking to challenge your implicit assertion that depression would be an absolute bar on recruitment into the police service - much as physical disability is a diversity issue, so are mental health conditions.

I know a number of police officers who have previously suffered from depression in the past and are now serving as regulars; almost 10% of the adult population (98/1000) suffer from some form of depressive illness (NICE Guidance on Management of Depression, pp. 16, available here), and it is deemed in the same report to constitute a disability (ibid, at pp. 15). To discriminate arbitrarily on the basis of a diagnosis of depression would be unlawful, as it is unlawful to discriminate directly or indirectly on the basis of disability.

I would also challenge your unwarranted bluntness to the OP - if you are a serving police officer, I would hope that you would not speak to a colleague or to a member of the public in such a way about what is a very personal and sensitive topic.

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He asked a question and got an answer. If the answer is not something he wanted to hear then don't ask the question. At no stage did I say he will NEVER be able to join. That fact that he is still suffering will more than likely prevent him. I think it's 2 years (not 100% sure) that you have to wait. There's no point in giving false hope because the disappointment will be even greater. You keep telling me statistics and how many people you know with depression, answer me this one. How many people do you know who have successfully joined the police when suffering from depression at the time of application? The fact that the OP stated "I have acted on suicidal thoughts in the past" would indicate he has tried to take his own life this in turn means self harm.

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He asked a question and got an answer. If the answer is not something he wanted to hear then don't ask the question. At no stage did I say he will NEVER be able to join. That fact that he is still suffering will more than likely prevent him. I think it's 2 years (not 100% sure) that you have to wait. There's no point in giving false hope because the disappointment will be even greater. You keep telling me statistics and how many people you know with depression, answer me this one. How many people do you know who have successfully joined the police when suffering from depression at the time of application? The fact that the OP stated "I have acted on suicidal thoughts in the past" would indicate he has tried to take his own life this in turn means self harm.

I would ask if you have any special knowledge of the police recruitment process beyond hear say that 'you think it's two years that you have to wait', and that it is 'more than likely' that this will be a bar to his recruitment; this position is certainly not contained in the official guidance on the issue.

I do not seek to give false hope to anyone of their ability to join the police service when possibly deemed medically unsuitable to do so, but you are making some very wild assumptions regarding the statements made by the OP; you say that the fact that he states that he has acted on suicidal thoughts in the past to mean that he must have tried to take his own life, which must mean that he has attempted to self harm - this is a massive intellectual leap, and is not in any way borne out by the statements made by the OP.

The question that was asked by the OP has no definite answer, and the answer that has been given by myself and every other respondent has been nuanced (essentially, there is no bar and you'll have to wait and see what occupational health have to say), you seek to present a rather monosyllabic answer of 'no', which I seek to challenge the validity of on the basis of evidence I have put forward above. I find your attitude to be sarcastic and argumentative, and totally inappropriate for this topic. I apologise if I have misinterpreted your attitude, I acknowledge that it can be difficult to make your tone clear when communicating only by the written word. If this is the case then I am sorry.

To the OP - please do not be disheartened by the discussion that has taken place, you are not barred from employment as a police officer, but the service will seek to ensure that you are not unsuitable for the role by virtue of your condition. I would suggest that the fact that you have the condition under control would act in your favour, but clearly, the force will have it's own rules and guidelines, and I suspect that the judgement of the doctor at OH will also enter into the decision - as I have stated, the force do not want to put you in a position where your mental or physical health can be harmed by your role, or where you might harm other people - clearly, if you suffer from uncontrolled, serious depression, then the pressures of the role would likely be detrimental to your health, and there is a possibility that you would not be able to perform the role to a sufficient standard. As a first port of call before seeing occupational health, you may wish to seek advice from your own GP/specialist as to their opinion on your suitability for the role.

I think that I have probably said enough about this now, I do not wish to get engaged in a protracted argument that would result in the topic being locked - dannyireland please feel free to PM me if you want any further advice.

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Sorry to be blunt but I don't think you will have much chance of succeeding. It's a stressful and challenging job at the best of times. The job has given people depression so I very much doubt they will be willing to take you on actually already suffering from it.

Were you suffering from depression and considering self harm when you got into the Specials? It would not be unlawful in the slightest.

He asked a question and got an answer. If the answer is not something he wanted to hear then don't ask the question. At no stage did I say he will NEVER be able to join. That fact that he is still suffering will more than likely prevent him. I think it's 2 years (not 100% sure) that you have to wait. There's no point in giving false hope because the disappointment will be even greater. You keep telling me statistics and how many people you know with depression, answer me this one. How many people do you know who have successfully joined the police when suffering from depression at the time of application? The fact that the OP stated "I have acted on suicidal thoughts in the past" would indicate he has tried to take his own life this in turn means self harm.

As long as person concerned is in a well, mentally fit state at the time of application then of course they can join. I am a serving police officer who has depression myself. I was assessed by OHU and had further interviews about my condition and how my condition is managed. I was deemed fit and I don't want anyone reading this forum who has depression or any other hidden disability (let me remind you wanabe, it most certainly is classed as a disability and suggest if you are a serving officer you review your attitude towards hidden disabilities) to be deterred or put off from applying.

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As long as person concerned is in a well, mentally fit state at the time of application then of course they can join. I am a serving police officer who has depression myself. I was assessed by OHU and had further interviews about my condition and how my condition is managed. I was deemed fit and I don't want anyone reading this forum who has depression or any other hidden disability (let me remind you wanabe, it most certainly is classed as a disability and suggest if you are a serving officer you review your attitude towards hidden disabilities) to be deterred or put off from applying.

Very well said SharkFin, I am pleased to see that I am not the only person of this viewpoint. I would take this opportunity to reiterate the suggestion you make to wanabe, regarding attitudes towards depression and other hidden disabilities, and indeed, non-hidden disabilities, and also to reenforce your point regarding those who has a condition such as depression that you should not be deterred from joining the police.

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As long as person concerned is in a well, mentally fit state at the time of application then of course they can join. I am a serving police officer who has depression myself. I was assessed by OHU and had further interviews about my condition and how my condition is managed. I was deemed fit and I don't want anyone reading this forum who has depression or any other hidden disability (let me remind you wanabe, it most certainly is classed as a disability and suggest if you are a serving officer you review your attitude towards hidden disabilities) to be deterred or put off from applying.

I've not once said its not a disability!!!

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