Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Law Enforcement
By providing mandatory training to all department employees on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it could help reduce the number of police suicides. Currently heart disease is the leading cause of death among law enforcement officers. However, suicide has exceeded Line of Duty (LOD) deaths. The training would provide all department employees the knowledge of being able to recognize when an employee is displaying signs or symptoms of PTSD. This training would allow for early assistance in seeking out resources for professional help with PTSD. All too often, officers do not seek out help, due to the stigma that is present in the law enforcement culture associated with PTSD. The officer does not want to be looked down upon as being “weak” and unable to do the job by their co-workers. As law enforcement officers, agencies need to change the way they approach PTSD, and eliminate the stigma associated with it. PTSD is the “invisible wound” which cannot be seen by just looking at someone, but it is there. In order to be successful at combating PTSD we need to provide support and assistance, and not shamed and guilted. By being supportive we can influence the outcome of PTSD and the effects it has on the officers who serve or have served.