Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the number of frontline Police officers trained to identify and handle persons with mental health challenges; (b) what are the indicators used to measure the effectiveness of such training; (c) whether refresher courses are regularly conducted; and (d) whether the internal Standard Operating Procedures guiding officers to deal with such persons are based on internationally recognised diagnostic guidelines, such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
Mr K Shanmugam: Frontline Police officers are trained to manage different situations, including how to identify and handle persons with mental health conditions. More than 3,000 of them have also benefited from the mental health awareness course offered by the Agency for Integrated Care. They undergo assessments and/or discussions to evaluate their competencies.
The Police’s internal Standard Operating Procedures do not contain diagnostic guidelines. Frontline Police officers are not trained nor expected to make any formal diagnosis of mental health conditions. Instead, they look out for signs of mental health conditions and may then consult or refer individuals with suicidal tendencies to the Institute of Mental Health’s crisis response team for professional assessment.
Ministry of Home Affairs
2 March 2023