Mental Health Resources an importance for Law Enforcement

Date

2022-09

Authors

Woodruff, Jeremy

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Abstract

Law enforcement officers are challenged with learning the profession, while maintaining appropriate training to ensure that the job is done correctly. One of the most unaddressed issues to law enforcement officers is that of the stress the officers receive while on the job. This stress comes from the situations they are required to face daily. Often these issues result from traumatic events the officers are required to process. These stressful situations cause the officers to process various levels of trauma which they are not properly trained to do. Research has shown that these traumas have led officers to suffer from symptoms known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These same officers do not know how to process these symptoms in a healthy matter. Officers so often turn to drugs, alcohol and in extreme situations suicide to help them relieve the symptoms they are facing. This unhealthy response to trauma is because many of the officers do not know what resources are available to them or are afraid to reach out for help. There are resources available to officers such as various types of therapy, peer support groups and counseling. Research has discovered that many law enforcement officers do not know about these resources. Many more officers do not address the symptoms due to the stereotypes they face. Law enforcement agencies have made great efforts for law enforcement officers to have training for firearms, driving and criminal investigations but have not trained the officer in respect to their mental health. This can be accomplished by providing mandated training to all law enforcement officers. Mental health resources should be made more easily available to law enforcement officers.

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Keywords

Police--Mental Health, Police Psychology

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