The Need to Provide Mental Health Services to Police Officers




Burk, Michael G.

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


Law enforcement, like the military, endures all kinds of trauma and stress daily. This stress, over time, can make the lives of officers a living hell. Officers, due to the police culture, are expected to carry this stress and trauma alone. When officers make an outcry of pain or weakness, they are ostracized by those they work alongside; thus, forcing officers to hide the mental trauma they have endured. When law enforcement officers have no outlet for their stress, like a balloon that is constantly filling with air, they can pop. Officers are forced to seek relief from other avenues, resulting in abuse of alcohol and drugs. These temporary vices only place a band-aid on the mental wound, which, overtime falls off, and can then lead officers to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and even suicidal ideation. Law enforcement agencies must correct this downward spiral and keep officers from battling mental trauma, reduce effects of PTSD and help prevent officers from committing suicide, and this should be done by providing mental health services to law enforcement personnel.



Police--Mental Health, Police Psychology, Police Job Stress