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mental health history and becoming a police officer/pcso

MixBotMixBot Posts: 8,656 Automated Account
i have decided that i would like to become a police officer.

i have a place on the lpc this year but im thinking becoming a solicitor isn't for me. i want to work in a law related role but im thinking something more active is for me. the whole reason i went into law in the first place is because i wanted to go out and help people because of what i had been through.

anyway...none of that was relevant.

im in the middle of applying to become a pcso as vacancies have become available in my area.

i have one big concern.

last year i was diagnosed with depression and a eating disorder. i was giving medication and referred to an ed clinic (but after my initial appointment and telling me they'd get in touch, they never did). i am better now...i think.

it was well over a year ago now and its something ive got over. it was just a bad point in my life. things are fine now.

i also had a few problems in my 2nd year of uni and was on medication then for anxiety and depression.

is the fact i suffered from these illnesses going to effect my application? they want to employ people who can handle the job. not someone who is going to crumble. the reason i ask is because they carry out a medical examination and i am assuming they will get access to all of my medical files? i dont want them thinking that i am unsuitable for the job just because i went through a bad patch :(

is it even worth me applying? i really want to do this but i can't help but feel as though my health problems in the past will hold me back :(
Beep boop. I'm a bot.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, I think it is definitely worth you applying. You won't know if you don't give it a go. I can't say for certain that medical history wouldn't make a difference to an application, but it's worth a try to see what happens.


    If you don't get through the application form/paper sift first time then try again too, sometimes people apply a couple of times before getting through, but that is completely normal, and nothing to do with medical history, etc.

    Police and PCSO's are just normal people at the end of the day, everyone has a past, it just depends how they let it affect them.

    Don't let what's happened in the past affect what you do now and in the future, I took a chance at a job I never thought I could do, and it turned out to be the best decision I ever made.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ive been reading online you need to have been medication free for 2 years. that means ive gotta wait till mid-late next year at least to even apply :(

    im completely fine now.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Is that for police in general, or for the force you're looking to join? It might be worth giving them a call and discussing it with them, they may be able to give more accurate advice about what they will and won't accept. I guess the recruitment or HR department would probably be the place to call.

    I hope it works out for you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ive read this on a police recruitment forum :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It is still worth getting in touch with Human Resources as they are not allowed to discriminate against mental illness past or present, plus you said you are applying for PCSO and they have different powers to POLICE OFFICERS don;t they?

    I wouldnt put it to bed just yet, make enquiries first !

    All the Best !
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    well i emailed their recruitment department and got this email back -

    "Thank you for your email.

    I have consulted with Occupational Health who have said that GMP do not require 2 years medication free and that if you are successful at assessment and interview stage for PCSO, they will require a report from your specialist or GP with regards to your illness and treatment when you go for your medical assessment. "

    so i should be ok! fingers crossed my application is alright and i get considered!

    and yeah, pcso's don't have many powers compared to police but i just want to get my foot in the door. its alot easier to become a pcso than a police officer and id rather get a bit of experience first so i know what its like and whether its for me. although, the job is actually completely differerent from that of a police officer. ah well, lol.

    plus, my police force aren't recruiting for police officers right now but they are for pcsos.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It is still worth getting in touch with Human Resources as they are not allowed to discriminate against mental illness past or present,
    there are some exceptions. recruitment for police and military is highly selective and some illness (either present or past) might mean you're deemed unfit to carry out the job and will be rejected on those grounds alone.

    BBB, each force judges applicants on a case by case basis. if its what you want to do then you may as well apply.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    id rather get a bit of experience first so i know what its like and whether its for me. although, the job is actually completely differerent from that of a police officer. ah well, lol.

    Being a PCSO is a good job, it's different every day and you're right, it does give you a good insight into how things work and the sort of things police officers do. The two roles are very different, but there are some overlaps with regards to experience of working with the public and some jobs you may deal with. It'll help with deciding if being a police officer is what you want to do, but being a PCSO is a great job in it's own right.

    Best of luck with your application! If you have any questions feel free to PM.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ignore the bollocks you read on the recruitment websites. Contact the human resources department of the force you wish to apply for and speak to someone in person.
    Be frank with them, explain what your condition was/medication you took and ask if that would be a barrier to you applying.

    As for the job itself, I've been a PCSO coming on 6 years for a large metropolitan force. I've loved every second of it, and if you get a decent area you will do so.
    Every day has been different, I've met and dealt with thousands of people, good and bad over the years and from what I've been told I made a significant impact on the quality of life in the town I was responsible for.

    9 months ago I became a schools liaison officer, and it breathed a new life into the role.

    Just make sure you're applying for a force that gives you a decent range of powers/responsibilities, if you can help it avoid Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Birmingham. PCSOs there are treated like shit.

    Good forces are BTP, North Wales, any East Midlands force and possibly the Met.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Chris had been on anti d's in the past. He is now a police officer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    if you can help it avoid Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Birmingham. PCSOs there are treated like shit.

    lol, great. im applying to gmp :p

    i passed the paper sift, got invited to the assessment centre and passed that. have an interview on monday.

    at the interview, ive got to hand in this medical questionnaire thing. in the mental health section, ive had to tick seven things so even if i pass the interview, its unlikely i'll get in as its likely i'll fail the medical.

    still going to give it my all mind. everything is worth a try.

    any tips for the interview?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you can explain the ticks with reasonable replys etc they may not matter.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  • Olly_BOlly_B Mod-u-like Posts: 222 Settling in
    Hi Blah blah blah,

    Good luck with the interview on Monday. Just be confident and positive and you'll come across really well. Remember to smile and looks people in the eye when you are talking. Your body language is as much a clue to you suitability as your answers.

    As for worrying about what you've had to put on that health declaration: let them make the decision, not you. If you go in thinking you won't get the job because of it, then that will come across in the interview.

    It's unlikely they'd fail an otherwise good candidate simply on the basis of what you put on the health dec, especially one that'd they'd had the opportunity to interview. Usually if there were concerns about your medical history, you'll be asked to go for an assessment with a occupational doctor.


    Olly
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Good forces are BTP, North Wales, any East Midlands force and possibly the Met.

    BTP anyone would rate as no.1 force for PCSO's - largest range of powers available and the most money for PCSO's compared to any other force - your earning the same wage as an entry level PC!
    but good liuck with your interview for GMP
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    otter wrote: »
    BTP anyone would rate as no.1 force for PCSO's - largest range of powers available and the most money for PCSO's compared to any other force - your earning the same wage as an entry level PC!
    but good liuck with your interview for GMP




    True, my force I've been in a few years and I get paid the same as well.

    As for interview, give honest answers, be prepared for them to do some digging on answers you do give.
  • JsTJsT TheSite Graduate Posts: 18,265 Incredible Poster
    otter wrote: »
    BTP anyone would rate as no.1 force for PCSO's - largest range of powers available and the most money for PCSO's compared to any other force - your earning the same wage as an entry level PC!

    Shame there isn't enough of the BTP sadly. Could quite easily do with double the officers round Yorkshire. Round here they are stretched to the point of never being anywhere near when needed despite everyone seemingly working hard.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I PASSED MY INTERVIEW!!!!!!!

    can't bloody believe it! i really did think i messed up!!!!!!! can't believe they've got in touch so soon as well. only had my interview monday, got my letter today! it took them about 6 weeks to get back to me after i handed in my application and 3/4 weeks after i attended the assessment centre!

    im so happy! just gotta pass the vetting, medical and fitness test now. medical test is probably gonna be the thing that holds me back tbh but at least i know ive done my best!!!! theres nothing else i can do now but sit and wait!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well done thats great :)
  • JsTJsT TheSite Graduate Posts: 18,265 Incredible Poster
    :d :d
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well done. Can i be your first arrest ? You could do me for 'Being fabulous without due care and attention', 'Being gorgeous in a built-up area' or 'Driving whilst being under the inffluence of being fantastic'. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    RubberSkin wrote: »
    Well done. Can i be your first arrest ? You could do me for 'Being fabulous without due care and attention', 'Being gorgeous in a built-up area' or 'Driving whilst being under the inffluence of being fantastic'. :)

    pcso's don't arrest people :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Body cavity search ?
  • Olly_BOlly_B Mod-u-like Posts: 222 Settling in
    I PASSED MY INTERVIEW!!!!!!!

    can't bloody believe it! i really did think i messed up!!!!!!! can't believe they've got in touch so soon as well. only had my interview monday, got my letter today! it took them about 6 weeks to get back to me after i handed in my application and 3/4 weeks after i attended the assessment centre!

    That's brilliant news. Really well done! :-)

    Congrats indeed!


    Olly
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    pcso's don't arrest people :p



    Yeah we do, only the Daily Mail still thinks we don't :p


    Well done on your interview!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    nice one stace!! :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Yeah we do, only the Daily Mail still thinks we don't :p


    Well done on your interview!

    pcso's don't have the powers though do they to arrest people?
    oh dear. please tell me i do know what this job involves :p
    as far as i am aware, pcso's here in manchester don't arrest anyone. if so, then thats cool but i really don't think they are allowed.

    whowhere - what did your fitness test involve? i know some forces make pcso's do the full police fitness test...others do something not as hard?

    mmm. have my medical and fitness test in two weeks on 1st july. going through the vetting now. SO worried about this medical. its the ONLY thing thats going to get in the way of me getting this job...my stupid mental health history. will be totally gutted if it does. think my hearing may be a problem too as im sure mine isn't great.

    ive been told ill be looking at starting my 7 weeks training on 17th august if i pass the vetting & medical so ive practically got the job. got my first choice area in manchester city centre too.

    bah.

    wish i never went to my doctor about anything.

    do you reckon it would be a good idea getting a letter off my doctor confirming im fit to work as a pcso both mentally and physically or would that raise questions? im going to my doctor on monday anyway to ensure that is clear on my records (like i did before i applied but i want to make sure) but mehhhh.

    before i applied, gmp said i wouldn't have to be off medication for 2 years (some forces require this) but they would require a report off my gp/specialist regarding my illness/treatment. do you reckon occ health will get this themselves or should i get a report before i go?

    argh. so stressed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They would sort it out, you shouldn't have to do anything, other than maybe say that it is ok for them to see your records.

    You're fine now, which is the main thing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    pcso's don't have the powers though do they to arrest people?
    oh dear. please tell me i do know what this job involves :p
    as far as i am aware, pcso's here in manchester don't arrest anyone. if so, then thats cool but i really don't think they are allowed. .



    It does depend on the force you work for. My force PCSOs are designated with arrest powers (called the power to detain) and quite a few others. The force over the border have none whereas BTP and North Wales also get handcuffs as well as arrest powers.

    The Daily Mail makes no differentiation between the different forces.


    As for the doctor thing, yes it's definitely worth getting a note from him, although the police may want to have you checked out by their occupational health unit anyway. We got basic checks when I started (ie hearing and blood pressure) but they do extra ones if needed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    im in worse position than than this guy i think

    I also would love to be a police officer, but I was in a mental health unit for a few weeks whilst on anti d's n anxiety meds. I was 17 at the time and am now 20.
    I have been on no meds and have not had to see a therapist etc or anything for over 2 years.
    I suppose im more worried because i think that because i was actualy in a unit is that much worse than just being on meds?

    I mean now im fine, i do voluntary work with st.mungoes and i have a job.

    am i in worse position because of actually being admitted?
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