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  1. #1
    blah blah blah Guest

    mental health history and becoming a police officer/pcso

    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
    Last edited by blah blah blah; 20-03-2009 at 08:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Essex/Cornwall
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    232
    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.
    it hurts to want everything and nothing at the same time

  3. #3
    blah blah blah Guest
    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Essex/Cornwall
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    232
    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.
    it hurts to want everything and nothing at the same time

  5. #5
    blah blah blah Guest
    ive read this on a police recruitment forum

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    7
    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 !

  7. #7
    blah blah blah Guest
    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Midlands
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    4,191
    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.
    Good judgement comes from experience.
    Experience comes from bad judgement.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Essex/Cornwall
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    232
    Quote Originally Posted by blah blah blah View Post
    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.
    it hurts to want everything and nothing at the same time

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Somewhere in the UK
    Posts
    10,189
    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.
    Whowhere, neither here nor there.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Bristol (South glos), uk
    Posts
    11,788
    Chris had been on anti d's in the past. He is now a police officer.

  12. #12
    blah blah blah Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Whowhere View Post
    if you can help it avoid Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Birmingham. PCSOs there are treated like shit.
    lol, great. im applying to gmp

    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?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Bristol (South glos), uk
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    If you can explain the ticks with reasonable replys etc they may not matter.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    St Albans, Hertfordshire
    Posts
    222
    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
    "You can not become if you only said what you would have done." So Do-it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Midlands
    Posts
    4,191
    Quote Originally Posted by Whowhere View Post
    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
    Good judgement comes from experience.
    Experience comes from bad judgement.

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