Is Our Police Culture Causing Suicides?

It’s National Suicide Prevention Week again (September 9th – 15th, 2018) in the United States which is a week-long campaign to inform and engage health professionals and the general public about suicide prevention and warning signs of suicide.

I lost one of my law enforcement friends to suicide in 2007 and that’s what prompted me to start CopsAlive.com.

In my opinion, law enforcement suicide is a symptom of what ails our profession, and it should be an priority issue to resolve — but it hasn’t been.

This year, I thought I would follow suit with some other enlightened thinkers on this issue and challenge you to think about how our law enforcement culture contributes to suicide, and how we can fix that… Continue reading

The Visitor That Would Not Leave

How do you handle that one guest that just will not leave? I recently heard a definition for what trauma is. Trauma was defined as: when you leave the scene, but the scene does not leave you. That definition resonated with me. How many calls did I leave that did not leave me?

I know we all have scenes and calls that have not left us. Some are years old. Some are obvious. The larger scenes and the obviously tragic calls stay with us. It is expected. In my department, certain calls are expected to cause trauma such as an officer involved shooting or a line of duty death.

When something like that happens, peer support is automatically activated and… Continue reading

What Can We Do To Better Help One Another?

I read two very interesting articles today and I want to hear your opinion.

The first was something that someone sent me on Social Media entitled Diary of a Suicidal Cop

The second as an article posted by the National Center for PTSD entitled Help Someone You Love on PTSD Awareness Day. (Today is National PTSD Awareness Day – see below for links and resources).

I’d like you to read both and then share your comments here about how we can better serve our brothers and sisters behind the badge.

We should not have to Suffer In Silence!

When I read the Diary of a Suicidal Cop, I am saddened, I am moved and I can readily identify with lots of the feelings, but that still doesn’t mean we can’t help those who need it most… Continue reading

We Need a RE-evolution in Law Enforcement

I believe that law enforcement is the most noble of all professions.

I believe that the people who take a job or take an oath to protect and to serve their community in law enforcement should be honored and celebrated for that decision.

I believe we should be held to a higher standard.

I believe we should be nurtured, supported, encouraged and esteemed for that higher standard.

I believe that higher standard is a colossal commitment that should not be accepted lightly.

I believe many, many law enforcement professionals are suffering in silence because the burden of service in this profession is substantial and the expectations are monumental.

We are the Guardians of the Peace – we are the thin blue line between a peaceful society and anarchy.

We have promised… Continue reading

How’s Your Brain?

How’s Your Brain Doing?

Building and maintaining mental strength is critical to your performance and effectiveness in life and at work.

In the book Armor Your Self: How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement I talk about the importance of strengthening your “Self” physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

When I talk about mental health and fitness, I’m talking about the cognitive functioning and fitness you need to thrive as a law enforcement professional or other emergency responder.

The other things you might think of as “mental health” are covered in the emotional and spiritual health categories of our overall plan for building Tactical Resilience™ and I will, or have, covered them in other articles (See Below).

For the purposes of our discussion here I want you to think about the cognitive functions that are critical to your performance in your capacity as a law enforcement professional or other emergency responder role.

To me mental strength comes from regular conditioning much like… Continue reading

PTSD Awareness Day June 2017

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

Armor Your Self and Build Tactical Resilience

The Law Enforcement Survival Institute is proud to announce the release of John Marx’s new book: Armor Your Self™: How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement.

The book helps law enforcement professionals armor themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually in order to build Tactical Resilience™.

This book also provides guidance and support for law enforcement family members to use in order to learn how to help their family survive that career in policing.

This book is about “Saving the Lives of the People Who Save Lives”

Police work is the most toxic job on the planet, and if the members of the law enforcement community don’t take measures to protect themselves, this job will eat them up!

If law enforcement officers did a true threat assessment of their careers, they would realize that the real dangers lie not with the bad guys, but within the stresses of the job. High rates of suicide, depression, alcoholism, domestic violence, PTSD, heart attack and cancer are the real cop killers.

In this book you will learn about: Continue reading

Stop Law Enforcement Suicides Now!

Man Therapy-Suicide Warning SignsSeptember is National Suicide Prevention Month and this week is Suicide Prevention Week. Let’s stem the tide of law enforcement officer suicides together. Watch for these signs and learn more from our partners at mantherapy.org

Man Therapy is a tongue-in-cheek website to get men and especially first-responders to talk about and deal with the traumas they face.  Follow them on the Man Therapy Social Channels
On Facebook at www.facebook.com/ManTherapy and on Twitter – @DrRichMahogany

Do you have a suicide prevention program in your agency?

Well, you no longer have an excuse for not having a program. With a 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 page. Get all the resources you need for free at www.CopsAlive.com/SuicidePrevention

Here Are Some Other Resources To Help You:… Continue reading

Today is PTSD Awareness Day in the United States

PTSDawareness2016graphic

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT PTSD AWARENESS DAY?

We should care about our mental health and the effects of PTSD because law enforcement is a high-risk, high-stress career that exposes all of us to excessive amounts of trauma and tragedy and we ALL need to learn that we can’t cope with all that negative stuff just by surprising it.  Good mental health, like good physical health doesn’t come automatically, you have to work to build strength in both areas and taking care of your emotional Self is as important as taking care of your physical Self.  When you do become injured physically or emotionally it helps if you understand the issues surrounding your injury and know about your treatment options.  Learning about PTSD and other issues that can challenge your mental health can be as important as learning about physical conditions like back injuries and the preventative strategies that can help mitigate those injuries.

In their section on PTSD Basics, the National Center for PTSD operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says “After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is common to have reactions such as upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, or trouble sleeping. If these reactions do not go away or if they get worse, you may have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a… Continue reading

On Human Stupidity and Violence

Albert Einstein once said “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” Seems he was sure about human stupidity.

In light of recent events, it has become increasing difficult to argue against Einstein’s position. The human capacity for stupidity, especially when assessed through the observations of nearly incomprehensible human cruelty, certainly seems unlimited.

As a species, humans are an interesting lot. Collectively, we have developed sciences and created technologies that would have appeared magical just a century ago.

Modern medicine, space exploration, computer science, electronic communication, social media, and numerous other disciplines are reflective of advances that are unprecedented in the previous totality of human history. Our knowledge and accomplishments increase exponentially with every passing year. Maybe we are not so stupid after all.

But there is another side to the human equation. This side has less to do with science, technology, and achievement. This side has to… Continue reading