The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (14:57): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Mental Health and minister representing the Minister for Police a question regarding the 801 Group.
The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS: The 801 Group is made up of serving and retired police personnel who are concerned about the health and wellbeing of their colleagues. In May this year, following the incredible growth in the 801 Facebook page after the tragic suicide of a SAPOL officer on Eyre Peninsula, I arranged a meeting for the 801 Group with the Hon. Mr Malinauskas in his then role as police minister. My questions are:
1. Will the minister outline what actions resulted from that meeting during his time in the police portfolio?
2. Will the minister also bring back information from the current Minister for Police about advancing support and assistance for the 801 Group from SAPOL and indeed, as the Hon. Mr Malinauskas suggested at the time, from PASA?
3. In his new role as Minister for Mental Health, and particularly being responsible for suicide prevention, will the minister indicate what future involvement he intends to have with 801?
The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Health, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse) (14:59): The honourable member is right. I did have the opportunity to meet with the 801 Group in my previous capacity as the minister for police. I thank the honourable member for arranging and facilitating that meeting the first time around.
In my time as police minister, SAPOL was in the process of actively engaging with the Police Association of South Australia to analyse its mental health services for existing officers. It is clear that police have an incredibly difficult job, not just in South Australia but anywhere in the world really, where they provide front-line services, often in highly traumatic circumstances. There is a growing body of work coming out around the vulnerability of emergency services workers to PTSD in some circumstances, particularly for those people who work on the front line.
My understanding is that, as a result of that meeting and others, SAPOL actively engaged with PASA to review their services in this area generally to see if they couldn't be improved. I suspect that effort remains ongoing, but I am happy to take the question on notice for the minister in the other place to respond to accordingly.