Hundreds of emergency service workers have taken mental health-related absences over the last four years.
According to official statistics obtained by the Evening Express, 262 police and paramedics have been forced to take a break.
Between 2016/17 and 2019/20, 94 police officers from Police Scotland’s A division, which covers Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray, were recorded as having a mental health absence. Also, 18 police staff had to take time out.
Scottish Ambulance statistics show that 168 paramedics took a mental health-related break from their jobs over the same time period.
There was no regional breakdown of the issue at the fire service, although national figures show there were 140 incidents in the three years to 2018/19.
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North-east Conservative MSP Liam Kerr said the figures reflect the kind of pressure the emergency services are under and is calling for increased support for those on the front line.
Mr Kerr said: “Those working for the police, ambulance or fire service come face to face with harrowing situations on a daily basis and have no time to download, discuss and reflect.
“Far too many have extremely heavy workloads and very little time to have a break, going from one job to the next.
“The Scottish Government must do more to focus on the mental health related issues faced by our emergency service workers and understand the real scale of the problem here.
“Our emergency services do an incredibly difficult job and they must be given the proper support for dealing with issues that arise from the role.”
Police Scotland’s Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said the health and wellbeing of officers is “extremely important” and counselling and post-incident trauma support is offered to staff.
A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said, despite the stress involved, staff do a “fantastic job” and they also offer professional support like counselling.
The fire service said it has a dedicated health and wellbeing department run by qualified health professionals.