Mental health strategy

Learn about the Victoria Police Mental health strategy, which included a review of the mental health and wellbeing of Victoria Police employees.

Victoria Police Mental Health Review

The Victoria Police Mental Health Review is an independent review into the mental health and wellbeing of Victoria Police employees.

The 90-page review highlights a need for change in the culture of Victoria Police to eradicate the stigma attached to mental illness and help seeking. It also highlights a need for greater access to mental health literacy and support services for Victoria Police employees during and after their careers, as well as for their families.

The review was led by Clinical and Organisational Psychologist, Dr Peter Cotton, and was supported by Peter Bull (retired superintendent), Nancy Hogan (senior healthcare executive) and Maryanne Lynch (senior research consultant).

Together the review team received over 450 contacts from individuals and groups; including employees of all levels across the organisation and their families, as well as former employees and their families.

From these submissions the review team critically examined how Victoria Police can best deliver wellbeing services to support employees throughout their career and into their post-Victoria Police lives.

Key recommendations include increased education and training around mental health, greater focus on welfare of employees by leaders and enhanced services for members, retired members and their families.


Victoria Police Mental Health Strategy and Wellbeing Action Plan 2017-20

The Victoria Police Mental Health Strategy and Wellbeing Action Plan 2017-20 reflects Victoria Police's commitment to promoting and protecting the mental health of employees.

The Strategy presents background information, an organisational vision, strategic objectives, a Mental Health and Wellbeing model, and an Action Plan. It identifies how we will measure success to enable us to assess, continually refine, and improve our approach.

The Strategy serves as a road map to a future state in which Victoria Police continues to support the mental health of employees who work as policing first responders or support delivery of policing services. A diagrammatic representation of the framework for The Strategy is also presented.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing model presented in this Strategy recognises the unique nature of policing, and that the needs of an employee may change. It provides direction, and ensures continuity in improving the mental health and wellbeing of employees across the lifecycle of their careers and beyond.

The Strategy is a key component of our work to expand our suite of occupational health and safety practices and initiatives. An overview of existing wellbeing support services is presented in Appendix 1.

The Strategy forms a component of Victoria Police's Zero Harm Health and Safety Vision, which looks to every Victoria Police employee to be personally committed to the health and safety of themselves, their fellow employees and the community in which they serve.

The Strategy also complements the outcomes from the Mental Health Review  that assisted Victoria Police to better understand the effectiveness of current approaches to supporting the mental health needs of our employees.

Importantly, it is underpinned by the Victoria Police Capability Plan 2016-2025 that is guiding long term, staged and planned capability growth for the organisation. Specifically the commitments in the Strategy are in alignment with the 'Enabling Capabilities' in the People Management category. These include Leadership, Workforce Planning, Occupational Health and Safety, Training/Professional Development, People Performance Management and Employee relations.

Through a contribution to the maturation of these capabilities, as aligned to the Blue Paper Transformation Pathway of Safety, the Strategy will help develop an organisation that is safer, professional and more agile for Victoria Police employees and the wider community they serve.

Victoria Police Mental Health and Wellbeing Study Summary

Victoria Police has released the findings of the landmark Mental Health and Wellbeing Study which provides a more accurate picture of the mental health issues impacting employees.

This study is the first of its kind to be conducted by Victoria Police, and was one of the most important recommendations to come from the 2016 Mental Health Review.

Findings from this study have provided our organisation with highly valuable data about the specific issues of our workforce which will allow us to provide better and more targeted mental health and wellbeing supports to meet these needs.