Dáil Éireann - Volume 638 - 03 October, 2007

Written Answers. - Garda Training.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if more training is being provided or will be provided for Gardaí in relation to the requirements and implications of the Mental Health Act 2001 in the performance of their duties. [22058/07]

  Deputy Brian Lenihan: I am informed by the Garda authorities that details of training provided regarding the Mental Health Act 2001 are as follows:

Continuous Professional Development:

A module on Mental Health Awareness is currently being delivered as part of the Continuous Professional Development (CP.D.) Core Programme 2007. This module includes information from the Mental Health Commission on the relevant legislation. A previous module on Mental Health was also included in the Continuous Professional Development (C.P.D.) Core programme 2005. The Core Programme is provided to all Gardaí and Sergeants.

Student/Probationer Training:

The Social and Psychological Studies programme provides the following training to Student/Probationer Gardaí in relation to Mental Health Awareness and the Mental Health Act, 2001. All of this training takes place on Phase III training in the Garda College.

Schizophrenia Ireland, as guest speakers on the Social & Psychological programme, provides training in relation to self experience and communication techniques for dealing with people suffering mental illness.

Social and Psychological Studies’ staff provide lectures on Mental Health Awareness, section 12 and 13 of the Mental Health Act 2001, Depression, Suicide and Schizophrenia, appropriate communication and intervention.

Social and Psychological Studies’ staff provide training through the developmen[1657] tal work and role-play scenarios which depict practical incidents that Gardaí may encounter relating to mental illness in the community. This role-play type training develops their skills and competencies in dealing with and intervening in such incidents. Phase III students are assessed on these role-plays. This training is complementary to and presented in conjunction with training provided on the subject areas of Legal Studies, Garda Practice & Procedures and Contextual Policing.

Social and Psychological Studies’ staff liaise regularly with The Mental Health Commission in relation to training and new developments.

Under Legal, Contextual Policing and Garda Practices and Procedure Studies, student Gardaí receive tuition in relation to their duties under the Mental Health Act 2001. They also receive instruction in the Treatment of Persons in Custody in Garda Stations Regulations, 1987, where Regulation 22 deals solely with mentally handicapped persons.

On Scene Command/Garda Negotiator:

A module on Mental Health is included in both the Garda Negotiator and On Scene Command Course. This module is presented by Dr Harry Kennedy and his colleagues from the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum.

Training and Continuous Professional Development in all modules are continually monitored and reviewed ensuring the necessary training is received by all members.