McArthur: Police mental health can no longer be sidelined


Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson, Liam McArthur MSP, has today said that the mental health of police officers and staff must no longer be “sidelined” as he revealed that in just two and half years, more than 165,000 days of officer and staff time have been lost to mental ill health. 

New data from Police Scotland, obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats through freedom of information legislation, highlighted:

  • 166,580 police officer and staff days lost to psychological disorders since April 2019.
  • There has been an increase in the number of working days lost due to psychological disorders for police officers, from 43,413 in 2019/20 to 44,312 in 2020/21
  • There has been an increase in the number of working days lost due to psychological disorders for police staff from 20,384 in 2019/20 to 23,935 in 2020/21.
  • Already this year, between 1st April 2021 and 30th September 2021, 22,163 working days have been lost due to psychological disorders for police officers and 12,373 lost for police staff.

On the release of these figures, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said: 

“These figures show the brutal toll that mental ill health is taking on the national force. The mental health of officers and staff can no longer be sidelined.

“Police officers are often the ones to assist us in our moments of greatest need, yet the Scottish Government has failed to provide officers and staff with the support they need to manage their own mental health.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats want to see many more mental health staff working alongside the police, mental health first aiders supporting colleagues and annual staff surveys to identify issues quickly and provide support wherever it is needed.”


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