How you can spot warning signs and help prevent police suicide

By Mark Bond, professor of criminal justice at American Military University

The police profession can no longer ignore the silent suffering of its officers. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is real and it is a lot more common among first responders than initial indications.

Preventing police suicide is every officer’s responsibility.

However, the major hurdle to addressing this professional tragedy is the silence of the first-responder culture. Until recently, this unwillingness to openly discuss the impacts of PTSD has kept mental health issues a professional secret in law enforcement (Mittal et al., 2013). This has happened despite the fact that so many officers are impacted by traumatic events that often lead to PTSD.

Research on Police Suicides
In a recent research study, O’Hara, Violanti, Levenson, & Clark (2013) showed that suicide is not openly discussed in police culture because officers view police suicide as dishonorable to the profession. Additional research on PTSD by Chae & Boyle (2013) linked the increase of suicidal behavior to those who suffer from PTSD.The O’Hara, Violanti, Levenson, & Clark (2013) study [which you can read here] focused on police suicides for the years 2008, 2009, and 2012.

Full Story: Silent Suffering: Warning Signs and Steps to Prevent Police Suicide

About the author

In Public Safety is an American Military University (AMU) sponsored blog that features analysis and commentary on issues relating to law enforcement, emergency management, fire services and national intelligence. This blog features in-depth discussions authored by leading experts with decades of experience in their field. To stay updated on blog posts and other news relevant to these sectors, please follow us on Facebook by "liking" AMU & APUS Public Safety Programs. You can also follow us on our sector-specific Twitter accounts: @AMUPoliceEd, @AMUFireEd, @AMUDisasterEd, @AMUIntelStudies

  1. Tags
  2. Health - Physical and Mental Fitness
  3. Police Community
  4. PTSD

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