I am a serving or previously serving Police Officer: Where can I get help?

Seeking Help is a Sign of Strength and Courage:

It is important that if PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Stress, or any other condition is interfering with either your relationships, work or daily life, that you seek help. The majority of mental health issues have been shown to have faster and more effective recovery rates the earlier people seek help.

Policing is a unique culture where asking for help has traditionally been seen as a sign of weakness. However, it is this attitude that has lead to many police officers suffering unnecessarily. The “superman suit” can only assist so much before even the toughest cop will begin to fall over. Seeking assistance when you are doing it tough is without doubt a sign of strength and courage. If you are doing it tough ask for help. If you suspect a mate is doing it tough, ask them if they need help. Blue HOPE and many others are standing by to provide you with the help you are looking for.

Where can you get help?

Blue HOPE has a phone service open 24 hours per day 365 days per year manned by either serving or previously serving Police Officers who are there to help. Once you make contact with a Blue HOPE member, they have the knowledge and connections to put you in touch with people who can help.

Internal Police Resources
Each Australian Police Service has its own internal health and wellbeing network and Employee Assistance Program (EAP). These services are there to help those who are doing it tough.

Your GP
GP’s are an important resource in ensuring those who need help can access it. Your GP has a ready referral network for linking you with professionals who can help. You will need a GP referral to see a psychiatrist and although you do not need a referral to see a psychologist, a GP referral in the form of a Mental Health Care Plan or Chronic Disease Management Plan make you eligible to a Medicare rebate for seeing a psychologist.

Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) – Every person in Australia who possesses a Medicare Card is eligible to 10 individual and 10 group sessions with a psychologist each calendar year. Blue HOPE have a network of Psychologists they can refer you to otherwise your GP will be able to refer you to a psychologist who can help. A GP will generally refer you to a psychologist for an initial block of 6 sessions whereupon completion, you will need to return to the GP for assessment towards a further 4 sessions (Total of 10 sessions). The Medicare rebate for a referral to a Psychologist under a GP MHCP is $84.80 and $124.50 for a Clinical Psychologist, per 1-hour session.

Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDMP) – Every person in Australia who possesses a Medicare Card is also eligible to 5 sessions with a psychologist each calendar year under a CDMP. However, a CDMP also entitles you to sessions with other Allied Health Services such as a physiotherapist, dietician, or exercise physiologist. You are only entitled to 5 sessions under a CDMP in total, no matter which professional you consult with. Finally, if you have previously seen a psychologist under a GP MHCP, you cannot be referred under a CDMP for the same condition (e.g., Depression), however you could potentially be referred for another condition (e.g., Stress). The Medicare rebate for a CDMP is $52.95 per 1-hour session.

Private Health Insurance – Check with your private health insurer as to your level of cover relating to psychological assistance. You do not need a referral from a GP to utilise your private health insurance to see a psychologist.

Workers Compensation
If it can be established that a psychological condition has been developed as a result of your work as a police officer (ie, a psychological injury), you might be eligible to a workers compensation claim with your Police Service workers compensation provider. If you feel as though you have sustained a psychological injury as a result of your work as a Police Officer, be sure to discuss it with your GP.

Telephone Helplines

If you feel as though you need help immediately, please contact any of the below organisations who are there to help 24/7:

Blue HOPE – 1300 00 BLUE (2583)

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636

Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800 (free call)

MensLine Australia – 1300 78 99 78


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