RPNGC observes World Health Day

​Commissioner for Police, Gari Baki, says depression is a leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide.

Basing his statement on fact sheets released from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, Baki says the relationship between Mental Health Service and the Police Constabulary is time honoured and very amiable.

"This day simply makes our relationship solid," he stated during the commemoration of the World Health Day 2017, "Depression- Let's Talk", this morning.

Baki says is happy that his officers were actively involved in the formulation of the National Mental Health Services and are now beneficiaries to the enactment of this Act.

He states the RPNGC has a very important role to play in working with the Health Department.

"We play a major role in aiding the treatment and rehabilitation of people suffering with mental health."

He adds that the RPNGC has extensive powers to; apprehend, retain and refer for treatment persons believed to have a mental illness.

However, whilst carrying out responsibilities as required in section 110 of the PNG Public Health Act 1973, the constabulary is also expected to advocate the following:

*Reducing the risk to police and mental health consumers when dealing with mental health relate incidents;

*Improving awareness amongst front line police of the risks involved in the interaction between police and mental health consumers;

*Improved collaboration with other government and non-government agencies in the response to, and management of, mental health crisis incidents;

*Reducing the time taken by police in the handover of mental health consumers into the health care system;

*Improving the mental health of the members of the police fraternity; and

*Improving the level of investment in solving issues related to mental health disorders – investment in mental health makes a lot of economic sense.

Baki congratulated the World Health Organization, the Directorate of Social Change and Mental Health Services of PNG and the PNG Psychiatric Association for taking strides in educating our fellow citizens on this issue.

He commended the President of the PNG Psychiatric Association, Dr. Uma Ambi, for their impeccable passion in advocating mental health in PNG.

"As Commissioner, I am concerned for the complete health of my 6,600 police men and women nationwide as the nature of our jobs places us in situations which adversely affect our mental health."


He adds that the department will be initiating a compulsory medical check for its members and advocating a healthy lifestyle based on good natural food, more exercise and less intake of harmful substance such as alcohol, cigarettes and betelnut.

"I also encourage my members to talk to each other, to their spouses and importantly to the Police Chaplains we have for the Constabulary."

Annette Kora