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Mental Health Awareness and Law Enforcement _ John Vinson

Police officers are crucial parts of society and they carry a very large burden. It isn’t easy to have to go through the trials that police officers face on a daily basis. Sometimes police officers have to discharge their weapons and they often put their lives on the line to protect the public. This can lead to mental health complications and it is very important that police officers have good mental health awareness.

Mental Health Problems and Law Enforcement

It is not good for police officers to have to deal with mental health problems without being able to get help. If they don’t have the resources to get help for problems, such as depression or anxiety, this could negatively impact their performance on the job. This could lead to poor decisions being made and that could be tragic given the serious nature of police work. Police departments around the world need to ensure that officers have mental health resources to use and that they know that it’s okay to seek help.

Recognizing Mental Health Problems

Officers should be taught to recognize mental health problems so that they will know when something is wrong. Many people fail to get help because they don’t know much about mental health struggles. They might feel a little off but do not think that their problems are very severe until they start to worsen. Being able to recognize mental health issues can help to reduce suicide risks and it can also help people to better cope with issues like depression or anxiety.

Eliminating the Negative Mental Health Stigma

Eliminating the negative mental health stigma is also going to be imperative. You see, many police officers have a fear of admitting that they suffer from mental health problems. Some might worry about being made fun of by their fellow officers and others might simply come from family backgrounds where they aren’t familiar with mental health struggles. Mental health problems are real and they can be treated just the same as physical health conditions can.

Sometimes it takes courage to admit that you’re going through a difficult time. Departments that have the right resources in place should try to make things as comfortable and approachable as possible for officers who need assistance. They should be able to get help without feeling as if they have to let the entire department know about what’s going on. Work to come up with a mental health awareness strategy that will protect your officers and keep them healthy.