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Article- Police Suicide: What No One Wants to Say

1/23/2017 12:00:00 AM

 For far too long police suicide has been seen as taboo, a perspective that's killing us
By Jimmy Brown| Jan 9, 2017
  Law enforcement suicide: Whether it's a problem of catastrophic magnitude, an infrequent anomaly, or a problem that simply doesn't exist depends upon who you ask. The unfortunate reality is that we simply don't know the extent of the problem because we, as a profession, have not had the stomach to face our mental health issues. Suicide is the final culmination of our much larger mental health issues that we continuously ignore as individual officers and organizationally.

There are myriad reasons as to why we seem to refuse to address our baggage. But those reasons change depending on your perspective. For the individual officer, there's a stigma attached to owning your junk, which ranges from embarrassment to fear of job loss to being viewed as weak. For agencies, admitting that there's a larger issue of officer mental health that needs to be addressed opens up issues of liability and officer safety, and, of course, it impacts the budget.

To comprehensively address the larger issue of officer mental health, we have to start at the end-suicide.


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