This week is National Suicide Prevention Week in the U.S. and it’s time we in law enforcement take a stand against police officer suicides.
Do you have a suicide prevention program in your agency?
Well, you no longer have an excuse for not having a program. With this new video produced by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Working Minds Program and the Carson J Spencer Foundation, and our CopsAlive.com roll call discussion guide you can create a ready made program the moment you finish reading this article.
Create your own police suicide prevention training program in just 3 Easy Steps.
1. Download the video or show it to your roll call or staff group from your laptop.
2. Pair it with our CopsAlive.com 10 Minute Roll Call Discussion Guide “Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention – Take Charge”
3. Establish your plan for any interventions and post the Safe Call Now crisis hotline for first responders phone number 1–206–459–3020 around your agency.
More importantly what are your beliefs about your own happiness?
I think these are important questions because, sometimes if we lose sight of the prize, so to speak, we lose track of ourselves. We all know that depression, suicide, cumulative stress and PTSD are very real hidden dangers of a law enforcement career. What we do about that, and how we stay focused, are the important areas for our examination here. Learning to assess and develop their own personal well-being can go a long way to protecting a law enforcement officer from the toxic side-effects of the job.
In the Armor Your Self™ How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement training program I suggest that everyone in law enforcement, and yes that means both sworn and civilian employees, learn to strengthen and condition themselves physically, mentally, emotionally as well as spiritually. I believe that these four areas of your “self” are the areas that are vulnerable to the toxic effects of this job that… Continue reading
In May we published an article written by Carolyn Whiting the co-author of “The Crazy Lives of Police Wives” and I asked her if she would sit down and speak with CopsAlive.com about the book and her experiences as a former police officer and police wife.
Carolyn Whiting was a police officer for six years and she met Bob, her husband of twenty five years, while working in the same Police department. Carolyn retired due to a back injury and has been a housewife for the past twenty two years while her husband continues to work at the same department where they met. He has over thirty six years in law enforcement. Carolyn has a BA in Geography and was halfway through her MBA when she left graduate school to pursue her life-long dream of being a Police Officer, a decision she has not regretted.
The book is available at Amazon.com in both a paperback and Kindle version as well as at Barnes & Noble in paperback and for the nook.
Carolyn told me that the idea for the book came about after a discussion she had 3 or 4 years ago with… Continue reading
In honor of U.S. National PTSD Awareness Day please visit the website of the National Center for PTSD to learn more about this disorder. PTSD Awareness Day is part of U.S. National PTSD Awareness Month which was created to bring awareness to this psychological disorder.
Their concept is simple: Raise PTSD Awareness
Learn. Connect. Share. Learn: PTSD treatment can help Connect: Reach out to someone Share: Spread the word
Our Law Enforcement Survival Institute, and CopsAlive.com recommendation is to consider a four-part approach to encouraging the emotional well-being or the people in your law enforcement agency:
1. Learn all you can about PTSD using some of our recommended links below and the hold a discussion at your department using our 10-Minute Roll Call Discussion Guide on the Police PTSD Paradox CLICK HERE to download the discussion guide.
2. Initiate Police Psychologist Jack Digliani’s “Make It Safe” Initiative that promotes making it safe for officers to ask for psychological support CLICK HERE to learn more about the initiative on Jack Digliani’s website
CLICK HERE to download Jack Digliani’s Implementation Guide for the “Make It Safe” Initiative
CLICK HERE to download a poster/info sheet about the “Make It Safe” Initiative.
3. Publicize the Safe Call Now crisis hotline for first responders
Add the number into your contact list 1-206-459-3020 and publicize it around your agency. CLICK HERE to visit their website and learn more about their great work
4. Start or recommit to a Proactive Peer Support program within your department. Our belief at CopsAlive.com is that Peer Support should be formalized and encouraged throughout the agency or department and should be a proactive initiative where Peer Support Team members regularly check-in with their peers rather than waiting from someone to approach them. CLICK HERE to download Psychologist Jack Digliani’s Peer Support
CLICK HERE to download Peer Support Guidelines as published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 2011
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has just released a new resource for law enforcement on police officer suicide, with information and resources on prevention and response to the problem of law enforcement officer suicide. The resources on their website are from their symposium entitled: “Breaking the Silence: A National Symposium on Law Enforcement Officer Suicide and Mental Health” and their website is loaded with lots of downloadable and reproducible materials.
According to the IACP website: “To address the mental health stigma within law enforcement as well as the critical issue of law enforcement suicide, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, in partnership with the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice (COPS) hosted Breaking the Silence: A National Symposium on Law Enforcement Officer Suicide and Mental Health in July 2013. The participants at the symposium, which included the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, law enforcement and mental health professionals, worked together to develop a national strategy to address officer mental health wellness and suicide prevention”.
EDITORS NOTE:The following article was submitted by Carolyn Whiting co-author of the new book: The Crazy Lives of Police Wives. This is a book written for and by police wives. Please support them!
You can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broken. That goes for people as well as machines. PTSD, suicide, alcoholism and domestic violence are all indicators of broken/hurt people that may go unrecognized. How can you fix the person who is hurting if he can’t be reached or he doesn’t understand that he needs help? There are too many stories about yet another police officer killing himself or another police family battling alcoholism behind the closed doors of their home, in secrecy and shame. It doesn’t have to be that way. Think of the lives that might be changed if only these hurting families knew about the myriad of resources available and the many groups with knowledge and experience waiting in the wings, eager to help. The Crazy Lives of Police Wives is a new book written for and by police wives that broaches these painful… Continue reading
Law Enforcement Survival Institute Executive Director and CopsAlive.com Editor John Marx has been invited to speak next week in Kuala Lumpur to law enforcement officials and government enforcement agencies about “Managing Stress in Times of Crisis”.
John will be reviewing our three main training programs: Armor Your Self™, Armor Your Agency™, and True Blue Valor™.
Our “Armor Your Self™: How to Survive a Career in Law Enforcement” on-site training program is an eight hour, hands-on, “How to” seminar that helps police officers and other law enforcement professionals armor themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to survive their careers in police work. To learn more CLICK HERE
The concept of “True Blue Valor™” is where one law enforcement officer has to muster the courage to confront a peer who is slipping both professionally and personally and endangering themselves, their peers and the public. It takes a system of organizational support and professional leadership to support and foster the concept of courage and intervention. We will train your trainers to deliver this program to your agency.
To learn more CLICK HERE
Our “Armor Your Agency™: How to Create a Healthy and Supportive Law Enforcement Agency” Program includes critical strategies that you will need to build a system of support and encouragement for a healthy and productive agency. To learn more CLICK HERE
The symposium, promoted by MeLearn Global, entitled Law Enforcement Psychology Masterclass is being held June 3rd & 4th 2014 at the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel just outside Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.
This symposium has just opened up extra spots for a few more attendees. This symposium is for law enforcement officials only. If you would like to learn more information… Continue reading
Important new research into police burnout, leadership and stress is being published by Emerald and you can get a copy this weekend.
The report entitled: “An empirical investigation of high-risk occupations – Leader influence on employee stress and burnout among police” by Lisa M. Russell of the School of Business at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Indiana, USA is being published by Emerald Group Publishing Limited of the United Kingdom.
Emerald, a global publisher linking research and practice to the benefit of society, is making a free copy of this important research available for you until May 27, 2014 at this link: www.emeraldinsight.com/tk/policeburnout
A news release from Emerald stated: “US study published by Emerald analyses the relationship between stress and burnout in high-risk occupations and the role of leadership in moderating this relationship.
United Kingdom, 28 April 2014 – It is no surprise that high-risk occupations such as law enforcement have been associated with… Continue reading
This week is scared in the U.S. as we celebrate National Police Week in Washington D.C. During this week every year we honor those who have fallen in the line of duty, and we work to support and assist the survivors that have been left behind.
This is a time to honor the fallen while rededicating ourselves toward improving the way we serve our communities and enhance our ability to protect our citizens and ourselves.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) “This year, we’re adding 286 officers to the walls of the memorial. The names, to be added Tuesday evening in a candlelight vigil, include those of 100 officers killed in the line of duty in 2013 and 186 fallen officers from past years.”
The United By Light campaign gives everyone, everywhere around the world, especially those who can’t make it to Washington, DC, on May 13, to see the activities of the Candlelight Vigil Ceremony by Live Stream on the internet.
(This is PART TWO in series of PTSD – What Is it? by Robert Rabe) CLICK HERE to read Part 1
EDITORS NOTE: the following is a guest post from Robert Rabe a Vietnam Veteran who also has 39 Years of Law Enforcement Experience.
Every critical incident has similarities, and everyone is different. And every law enforcement officer’s reaction is individual to them as well. Some officers go through the process of integrating the experience into their psyche without difficulty. Usually this is with the help of others (peer group counseling,debriefings). It is difficult to do it alone. But what can the family possibly do to help the officer? The family can make sure that nothing is missed,especially, if medication is needed. But sometimes medication or even intervention isn’t good enough. Needless to say, if the officer has turned to becoming sullen and melancholy, they are a different person than before the critical incident and onset of PTSD. At this point, the family becomes the secondary victim, and loyalty is tested. The spouse,the children can suffer from secondary PTSD, which is not widely discussed in the mainstream media. Secondary PTSD, while not recognized with diagnostic criteria, is based on the concept, that… Continue reading
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