Justice Min. announces improvements to help cops with PTSD faster
The police system for occupational diseases, incidents and accidents at work is being improved so that police officers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can more quickly get the help they need, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhuis of Justice and Security announced after making agreements about this with the trade unions and Central Works Council.
Police officers have high-risk occupations and may be confronted with incidents that can have a major impact on their physical and mental health, the Ministry said. "This should be prevented as much as possible, but if it does happen, the care, support and guidance that the employee needs must be provided." The new approach must see that this happens as quickly and smoothly as possible.
If a police officer sustains an occupation disease or injury, they will "immediately receive the best care, attention and support so that they can focus on recovery and integration", the Ministry said. Reporting an occupational injury will be sufficient to gain direct access to help - regardless of how the injury was sustained. "Only if it later turns out that there is no connection between the injury and the exercise of the profession, the extra facilities offered by the police will be discontinued." But other provisions all employees are entitled to in event of occupational injury or disease will be retained.
All costs reasonably incurred for treatment and recovery will be reimbursed to the police officer, including damage to career and income. This is to prevent the need for officers to have to go to civil court for residual damage. The Minister is also looking into whether a committee, consisting of members of both the police and the unions, can assess damage claims. The police will also provide grief compensation for the loss of joie de vivre caused by an occupational injury.
The main goal is for the police officer to reintegrate into their own profession, by means of expert counseling to suitable work and with full payment, the Ministry said. If this proves to be impossible, the police will help the officer look for other appropriate solutions within or outside the police.