Is Your Agency Just Dabbling in Law Enforcement Wellness?
There are three reasons why most law-enforcement wellness programs aren’t making their people healthier, safer nor more professional. First, they’re not comprehensive enough. Second, they’re not doing anything more than just adding new training programs and creating more “flavor of the month” initiatives. Third, they are not investing time in their people, but rather using “band-aid” measures to try and fix complex problems.
Today is PTSD Awareness Day 2017 and June is PTSD Awareness Month here in the United States. Law enforcement officers can experience overwhelming issues of cumulative stress and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder known as PTSD. We need to start taking care of each other. Continue reading
National Partnership Launches Police Suicide Prevention Facilitation Guide
At its highest levels, the national law enforcement community acknowledges suicide prevention as a health and safety priority. In 2012 there were 126 documented suicides of police officers (versus 49 killed by gunfire in the line of duty). In 2013 the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) held a forum called “Breaking the Silence: A National Symposium on Law Enforcement Office Suicide and Mental Health,” and in 2014 the IACP helped develop a video in partnership with the Carson J Spencer Foundation, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and the American Association of Suicidology entitled Breaking the Silence: Suicide Prevention in Law Enforcement (access video here: https://youtu.be/fBJbo7mnnBs). In recognition of Suicide Prevention Month, and as part of an expanded collaborative effort, the partnership is releasing a video facilitation training guide for law enforcement agencies. The guide can be downloaded as a free PDF here: http://carsonjspencer.org/files/9214/4078/2987/20150817_LE_Video_Guide.pdf
“As a law enforcement officer for 30 plus years, the last eight as chief, I recognize the value of sustained, comprehensive and coordinated suicide prevention efforts for… law enforcement agencies. These tools can provide departments with an important first step in opening discussions around the sensitive issue of suicide and mental health,” said Kenosha Police Chief John Morrissey, member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Workplace Task Force. Continue reading
PTSD Can Attack Years Later
Even With No Previous Symptoms
EDITORS NOTE:This article has been graciously provided by Allen R. Kates, BCECR, MFAW the Author of CopShock, Second Edition: Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
“I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t think,
I feel sick. I can’t do this anymore.”
Can you develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) months or even years after a traumatic event like 9/11? Without showing any previous symptoms?
There are studies of World War II veterans and victims of motor vehicle accidents that say Yes.
This phenomenon is called “delayed onset PTSD,” according to the therapist’s diagnostic bible known as the DSM-IV-TR. It states that symptoms first appear at least six months after the traumatic event. That could mean months or even years later.
Yet some mental health professionals argue that the individual must have had symptoms early on, but didn’t recognize them. They also suggest that the PTSD sufferer delayed getting help for months or years, not that the PTSD itself was delayed.
Nevertheless, many law enforcement officers with no obvious previous symptoms do develop PTSD months or even years after a traumatic event.
As an example of delayed onset PTSD, here is the story of a police officer that developed the disorder five years after 9/11 and what he did about it… Continue reading
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.
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”.