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General News of Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Stigmatization could be cause of high rate of suicide among police - Sheilla Abayie-Buckman

Superintendent Mrs.Sheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman, Director of Public Affairs, GPS play videoSuperintendent Mrs.Sheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman, Director of Public Affairs, GPS

The Director of Public Affairs at the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent MrsSheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman, has told GhanaWeb in an exclusive interview that one of the reasons which could account for the rampant suicide among police personnel in the country could be stigmatization.

Explaining her stigmatization theory, Mrs Abayie-Buckman furthered that the police personnel are seen as strong in the eyes of the public, and being law enforcers they are perceived to be the least people who will seek medical advice on mental issues.

“The work of the police officer is such that, you have legal power and society also expects you to exercise that legal power. So you are seen to be somebody more powerful than the ordinary person. So sometimes if an officer goes to seek that professional help which is already available to our personnel, the question they ask is, won’t I be seen as a weak person? So that brings the issue of stigmatization into the subject matter,” she said.

She, however, disclosed that the police has a system that creates the awareness of issues that involves stigmatization, to their personnel while in training before they graduate.

“We already have awareness. By the time you finish your training, you would have been aware of what help is available but we need to reeducate our officers and remind ourselves of the kind of help available and the fact that we shouldn’t stigmatise people who seek these help as being weak,” she stressed.

She called on the police service to not see themselves as weak when they encounter problems but rather open up and talk to an expert or professional at the Police Hospital for assistance.

“Those of us who encounter problems of depression should not see ourselves as weak so that we can seek the necessary help that is there,” she added.

Listen to the interview below;

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