For Dallas-area officers coping with trauma after July 7 ambush & other shootings, a focus on mental wellness
Stress and long-term trauma are a growing concern in law enforcement for the officers who are expected to take on shooters and go back to work. Some departments are paying increasing attention to mental health after such incidents, implementing special wellness policies in a field long known for a “suck-it-up” culture.
B.J. Wagner, a senior director at the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, said untreated cumulative stress and trauma can create health risks for law enforcement officials.
Sometimes, that manifests in tragedies. According to nonprofit Blue H.E.L.P, which is focused on mental health awareness in officers, 167 officers died by suicide in 2018. It’s more than the 158 line-of-duty deaths reported by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Wagner said that because of suicide concerns, the institute is working to create a nationwide policy review of agencies’ mental health programs.
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