Tweed police say it's time to tackle the demons
STATE and federal police gathered at Twin Towns in Tweed Heads this week to help them confront post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The issue continues to be an uncomfortable subject for some police, according to Tweed police Inspector Bobbie Cullen, who admitted there remained reluctance in the force to seek help.
"(The event) is what we call a resilience day,” Inspector Cullen said.
"So it's about offering some support and information to our police and providing them with some inspirational stories about how to become resilient.
"Obviously it's a very difficult job, policing, and attending traumatic events all the time does take its toll, so this is more about officers understanding when they may need to seek some assistance before actually developing PTSD and anxiety.”
About 100 officers were in attendance, including some Australian Federal Police, as well as the international and national inspirational speakers
Inspector Cullen said Tweed Byron LAC commander Superintendent Wayne Starling was working hard to change outlooks.
"There is a move on behalf of the NSW Police and especially our commander, that it is okay to seek help,” she said.
"I think there has been a lack of knowledge on behalf of police about what the illness is and that people can't help it; they don't wake up one day and just decide to feel bad, it's something they're unable to help.”
Some of the speakers included Alan Sparkes, who rescued a boy trapped in a flooded storm water drain in Coffs Harbour in May 1996, and John Coutis, born with a rare form of spina bifida.