1491795901054 - Stuart Nash apologises for comments about police recruits on anti-depressant medication

Stuart Nash apologises for comments about police recruits on anti-depressant medication

Labour MP and police spokesperson Stuart Nash has apologised for comments about a police ban on recruits taking anti-depressants entering the police force.

Nash tweeted on Monday afternoon: “Just want to say that I got this wrong. Should have consulted the experts first. My sincere apologies. 

“Totally changed my opinion. Uninformed & uneducated comment that was unacceptable & unhelpful. Truely sorry (sic). Lesson learnt.”

Earlier, in response to a requirement that police recruits be free of anti-depressants for two years, Nash said the measure protected those with existing mental health issues and the public.

READ MORE:* Police, Labour defend ban of recruits on anti-depressants * Police policy on turning away recruits taking anti-depressants stigmatises mental illnesses: advocates * ‘NZ is too indifferent about depression’ * How to tell if you’re depressed or just sad 

“I think there are enough people out there who would make brilliant police officers without any existing mental health condition.

“It’s a lot safer for men and women who want to become police, and for our communities, if people who want to enter the police don’t have an existing condition.”

Mental Health Foundation Chief Executive Shaun Robinson said Nash’s comments were “simple-minded and unacceptable”.

“It is doubly disappointing that a Labour Party spokesperson is trying to defend discrimination and is in fact revealing an extremely disappointing degree of ignorance about mental health.

“If they [people with mental illness] have been supported well then they will have also learned ways to manage stress in order to maintain their health and wellbeing.”

Reaction on social media was positive after the apology with many tweeters noting their approval.

 

 

 

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