On the last day of National Suicide Prevention month it is time again for us to reevaluate our work to prevent law enforcement suicides and rededicate ourselves to the work that must be done.
This has been a busy month with lots of new information resources offered about suicide prevention for law enforcement.
What is really important is that we are starting to realize that we must think comprehensively when it comes to officer safety, wellness and suicide prevention. Most of the problems we see are just signs and symptoms of underlying problems that we have to address is many ways.
PTSD – It’s time to stop talking and start learning
You might just save a life and that life might be your own.
Learn a little about PTSD today. Then learn about Trauma
PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. There are currently about 8 million people in the United States with PTSD. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – National Center For PTSD
Who Develops PTSD?
Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control. For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make… Continue reading
EDITORS NOTE:Thomas Cline, a 50-year law enforcement veteran is past president of the International Association of Ethics Trainers, a writer/trainer at the Chicago Police Academy and a consultant. He’s authored Cop Tales! (Never Spit in a Man’s Face…Unless His Mustache is on Fire) and Surviving Storms. Non-Tactical Career Survival for Law Enforcers. In this article he writes about the men and women in law enforcement, promiscuous sexual behavior and suicide.
Woman without her man is nothing – Hold on! Before you decide, hey, this guy is a jerk, and stop reading, or hey, finally a macho man, I challenge you to punctuate the title.
We men often make fools of ourselves attempting to be liked by a woman. Women, though few know it, hold all the trump cards in picking partners. They pick us. Until about fifty years ago I believe women knew that. However, the culture has been telling them that they are the same as men in sexual matters and, because it has been repeated often enough, many have bought the lie. In accepting the idea that we are the same, women have relinquished their best man-selecting trump card: “No, where is the ring?” Women weren’t always virtuous, but they were smart. You see, men and women engage in sex for different reasons. Men pretend love for sex, and women pretend sex for love. Mull this assertion awhile.
Guys cannot win in the battle of the sexes. When a man is attracted to a woman and gets physically close enough to have his testosterone react with her pheromones, especially if she coos and looks at him seductively, he is captured. During the chemical reaction the man reaches a point where the decision-making part of his brain is unable to function. According to… Continue reading
EDITORS NOTE: Guest contributor Sean Peterson is a patrolman with the Taunton Police Department in Southeastern Massachusetts and a member of the regional Critical Incident Stress Management team. He is also the owner and performance director at Chaos Fitness.
I sat down to write this in the wake of New York City Police Department’s ninth suicide this year. The current Blue H.E.L.P. statistics stand at 131 suicides on the year, with four months to go. Protesters are literally begging police to commit suicide in Portland, Oregon. With what feels like everyone and everything against us, how do we rise above the darkness? Below I have outlined some thoughts and ideas surrounding mental and physical health we first responders can easily employ in such trying times.
A Physical and Mental Approach
“Combat” or “Square” Breathing
Here’s the simple process…
1. Intently breath in with strong focus- slowly counting 1, 2, 3, 4
2. hold that breath counting 1, 2, 3 ,4
3. slowly and consistently exhale that breath 1, 2, 3, 4
Simply put, combat/square breathing is an effective way to calm the nervous system. It is a very basic introduction to the world of mindfulness, creating space between ourselves and our reactions. It brings our focus to the present moment by concentrating our attention on our breathing, allowing us to slow things down for a while, so our bodies can catch up. Consider implementing this technique to offset the adrenaline spikes and stressors associated with hot calls, inter-department nonsense and the obstacles of everyday life. The beauty of this technique is… Continue reading
Last year was the first year that the number of reported law enforcement suicides exceeded the number of Line of Duty Deaths. It’s happening again this year.
As of September 9, 2019 Blue H.E.L.P. has verified 142 suicides while the NLEOMF has only reported 83 Line of Duty Deaths.
So what are you willing to do to stop this problem from happening at your agency?
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.
Recently, we were in Washington D.C. attending a banquet called Honoring the Service of Law Enforcement Officers Who Died by Suicide. This first time banquet was held in conjunction with National Police Week and was sponsored by BLUE H.E.L.P. Its purpose was to honor and recognize the service of offices who made that fateful decision and their survivors. It is Blue HELP’s mission to put names and faces to the men and women of Law Enforcement whose emotional injuries become too much to bear. Although the number of Law Enforcement personnel who take their own lives typically exceeds… Continue reading
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
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
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
A just-released White Paper on Mental Health and Suicide among First Responders commissioned by the Ruderman Family Foundation examines mental illness among police officers and firefighters, who commit suicide at a higher rate, and have PTSD and depression as much as 5 times higher… Continue reading
Welcome to CopsAlive!
Our motto is "Saving the lives of the people who save lives!"
Contact us and let us know what you would like to learn from us!
Press the Play Button for a Message from our Editor, John Marx
Download A Free Copy of the Newest Edition of Jack Digliani's Law Enforcement Peer Support Team Manual (Click the Image Below)
Download Jack Digliani's Newest Critical Incident Handbook (Click the Image Below)
Download A Free Copy of our CopsAlive LE Suicide Prevention Rollcall Discussion Guide (Click the Image Below)
Visit the Veteran Association's National Center for PTSD
SuperTracker can help you plan, analyze, and track your diet and physical activity!