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Police to remove stand-down period on recruits taking anti-depressants

26 October 2017 3:00 AM
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The New Zealand police has changed its recruitment standards after completing a review of medical standards for applicants to the police force.

Applicants taking medication to manage their mental health are not currently considered for recruitment, and there is a mandatory two year stand-down for applicants that are on or have in the past been on anti-depressant medication.

This will now be lifted and a case-by-case assessment will be applied to each applicant.

NZ police Deputy Chief Executive: People, Kaye Ryan said in a statement the report found that a police officer with a well-managed mental health condition was not impaired in decision making.

"The guidance to Police was that someone well maintained on medication may well be better able to make judgements than if they had an untreated condition," she said.

Once the new policy is implemented candidates will need to provide police with a report from a registered clinical psychologist.

Recruiters will use this report to decide their fitness to become part of the force. In some cases a stand-down period may be applied but it will depend on the candidate's medical history and individual circumstances.

The police admit that the role of a police officer can often involve challenging or distressing situations, and they say they have programmes in place to help staff manage mental distress.


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