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Mental health drive for police officers launched

By James Omoro | Dec 21st 2021 | 2 min read

Kisii County Police Commander Francis Kooli, Development Link Knowledge Africa Director Esther Soti and Homa Bay County Police Commander Esther Seroney address journalists. [James Omoro, Standard]

An organisation has launched a campaign aimed at tackling mental health among police officers.

Development Link Knowledge Africa (DEVLINK) is training police officers on how to overcome challenges resulting from mental health. The initiative is aimed at curbing violence and killings associated with mental health issues.

Homa Bay County Police Commander Esther Seroney, DEVLINK director Esther Soti and Kisii County Police Commander Francis Kooli opened the training officially at a Homa Bay hotel.

Soti said her organisation began the training to curb killings caused by police officers suffering from mental illness.

Soti said police are constitutionally allowed to carry guns hence they can misuse the weapons in case they are mentally sick.

“Ill mental health of a police officer is a challenge that can cause a serious damage. Mental illness of a custodian of a gun can cause a serious damage in the society,” said Soti said.

Her organisation organised the training following various incidents in which police officers have killed innocent people before turning the guns on themselves.

Seroney said the training will enable her officers know how to handle themselves when confronted with poor mental health.

She urged police officers to share their problems freely in order to get help.

“We don’t want our officers to keep quiet when they have issues. I urge them to share the issues so that they can be solved as early as possible,” Seroney said.

She added that the training will help her officers know how to handle clients with mental health too.

“This training will enhance service delivery among our officers,” she added.

Kooli told police officers to live real lives. He argued that a fake lifestyle can cause mental illness, especially when the reality is revealed.

“Police officers are human beings like any other person. Let us not live fake lives because a lie is short lived. Just live real life to avoid distress when reality is revealed,” Kooli said.

The training brought together 60 police officers from all eight sub-counties in Homa Bay.

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