STUART GRIMLEY MP

Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

Bluehub and Police Veterans

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Police, and the action that I seek is for funding to be made available to BlueHub and Police Veterans Victoria. As a police veteran myself—although technically I am still a police officer and might be back on the beat come December if I am not re-elected—I do know the struggles my former colleagues and blue family go through. When you get into the police force you start off with a very full emotional bucket, and for each violent, scary, awful, tragic, confronting, saddening job you go to a hole gets poked into that bucket. For every police officer their bucket is different. For some it will take just one incident, and for others it will take many, many incidents before the final hole means that there is nothing left. Over 80 per cent of Victoria Police employees report exposure to traumatic events, which is why BlueHub and Police Veterans Victoria are so important to ensuring mental health in our police. BlueHub provides evidence-based psychiatric help to police who need it. Over 400 police have reached out to BlueHub; 255 members have been referred for treatment, and about half of those are currently in treatment. Whilst just 7 per cent of some post-traumatic stress injury control program participants return to work, almost half of the VicPol employees who engage with BlueHub return to work or participate in the process to return to work. In terms of Police Veterans Victoria, it is something I have spoken about in this place before, but this registered charity and not-for-profit provides mental health help to Victoria Police veterans and their families. Whilst we rightly have huge funding available to defence veterans, there is no such organisation for police veterans in Victoria. At their recent annual fundraiser the former minister, Ms Neville, gave a glowing commendation to Police Veterans Victoria but stopped shy of committing to sustained funding. Now we have got a new minister, Minister Carbines, who I have met very briefly, and it was great to know that we hopefully had another minister who is passionate about police mental health. On that note, Minister, I request again that you make funds available to both BlueHub and Police Veterans Victoria to ensure that they can continue their important work.

STUART GRIMLEY MP

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