Stress management and suicide in law enforcement is rarely talked about in many organizations. When it is spoken of most consensus is that more needs to be done about it and more dialog about it. Law enforcement is a unique career that gives many the opportunities to make a difference in their communities and have a positive impact in others lives. The job does bring the person to the forefront of poverty, violence, drugs, death, and all the negatives in communities. These horrific traumas seen can slowly eat away at someone creating more stress.
No matter which side of the law enforcement suicide topic you stand on the fact of the matter is law enforcement officers are more likely to die by their own hands than that of someone else. Someone taking their life is bad enough to respond to but having to bury your brothers and sisters in blue is devastating. Suicide is unfortunately a real cause of death for people in a law enforcement career. Why is it only talked about after the fact?
Have you ever been to a class on suicide or given a class on suicide? The atmosphere of the room quickly escapes and a silent thick haze of taboo floats around. No one likes talking about people taking their lives but everyone says we need to talk more about it. I agree that the topic of suicide and stress management needs to be spoken about more in law enforcement. On going open communications is a must to change the culture and prevent unnecessary deaths from the career.
We would love to hear about your organization’s approach to suicide prevention and stress management. How are you keeping the communications open and is it effective? How often is the topic of officer stress and suicide taught in your organization? Please let us know, send you story and information to info@goCIT.org.
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The Crisis Intervention Team Inc. brings you education, conversations and perspectives on behavioral health, law enforcement, and crisis intervention teams.