Law Enforcement Mental Health: Addressing the Stigma and Changing the Culture




Simons, Bryan

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



In the last year (2019), there has been an increase in coverage of officer-involved suicides. This phenomenon is not new but is receiving coverage as several of the suicides have been while the officers have been on duty. Police suicides are impacted by the stigma surrounding mental illness and its treatment. Agencies have an obligation to their officers and communities to ensure that officers receive mental health treatment. Law enforcement agencies should have a culture that enables/encourages personnel to get mental health help without fear of punishment. Law enforcement can be a very toxic and traumatic career and without the support of the agency the officers will suffer. The stigma surrounding the treatment of mental health is a barrier to officers receiving treatment. Addressing this stigma will require a paradigm shift in the response to mental health overall. In order to deal with the mental health issue will require a coordinated response between the law enforcement agency and human resources.


Police--Mental Health, Police Psychology