Being STRONG means seeking COUNSELING.
CALL TO DUTY CALLS FOR MENTAL SAFETY
“In 2018, at least 167 officers died by suicide, more than the total number of line-of-duty deaths resulting from 15 other causes such as felonious assault, patrol vehicle accident, heart attack, duty-related illness.
We need to give back to those who protect us
“The reports of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty during 2018 is a tremendous loss,” said Jeff McGill, co-founder of Blue H.E.L.P., an organization that tracks officer suicides while simultaneously seeking to prevent such tragedies from occurring.
“As tragic as these duty deaths are, the single greatest cause of death for law enforcement officers each year is suicide,” McGill added.
California (14) and Texas (12) had the highest number of officer suicides. At least 12 officers killed themselves on duty—in their patrol car or at their agency.
Of the 2018 officers who died as a result of suicide, 159 were male and 8 were female. The average age was 42 years with an average length of 16 years of service.
In December alone, 22 officers died by suicide. In contrast, there were 10 line-of-duty deaths.
December was not an unusual month. Deaths by suicide exceeded all combined causes of duty death nearly every month in 2018.” Statistics provided by BLUE. H.E.L.P.
As a counselor for FIRST RESPONDERS I was offered the opportunity to go on a RIDE-A LONG with the 50th Precinct. Located in The Bronx. I put on my bullet proof vest. Sketchy neighborhoods and high crime rate, due to drugs, robberies etc. The Police officers I spent the evening with answered many questions I had. They were gracious but I sensed they were on high alert because at any moment a call could come in and off we go. The call did come in they sprang into action, I was so impressed with their call to duty. Sirens whirling, car speeding! These men and women are on a shift that their first thought is when they step into their patrol car, “Will I make it home tonight?” Most of us do not have this thought as we begin our work day, but they do.
With the rate of suicide due to PTSD and depression, these officers see the darkest side of humanity every day. I saw it for one shift, they see it for their career. Unloading their experiences in a confidential session is imperative to healing these symptoms and give them the
clarity to continue such brave and devoted work.