Law enforcement officers and first responders are a special population (like military and paramilitary personnel) who experience co-occurring medical and behavioral health issues with links to job-related stressors.
These factors include:
- Shift work
- Long hours
- Unpredictable schedules
- Exposure to critical incidents
- Being the frequent focus of public attention and criticism
- Various physical demands
- High rates of on-the-job injuries
Law enforcement personnel and first responders often struggle to manage the challenges associated with competing demands. Very intense and difficult circumstances must be addressed while simultaneously mitigating the impact those demands have on personal health and well-being. Seeking and adhering to needed medical and behavioral treatments can present specific dilemmas and challenges.
This population respond to and witness some of the most tragic events that happen in our communities. On-the-job stress can have a significant impact on their physical and mental well-being, which can accumulate over the course of a career. Many officers struggle with alcohol abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder and other challenges.
Here are some of the facts:
- Nearly 1 in 4 police officers has thoughts of suicide at some point in their life.
- The suicide rate for police officers is four times higher than the rate for firefighters.
- In the smallest departments, the suicide rate for officers increases to almost four times the national average.
- More police die by suicide than in the line of duty.
- Compared to the general population, law enforcement report much higher rates of depression, PTSD, burnout, and other anxiety related mental health conditions.
Treatment can make a dramatic difference in your well-being. With the right support, you can get on track for success in all areas of life. If you are law enforcement personnel or a first responder, contact me today for a free consultation.