After responding to a traumatic call, EMTs may think they're fine, but PTSD can strike several months after an event. Here are signs of PTSD and how family and friends can help.
Police respond to a variety of difficult events, which can create a roller coaster of emotions. Research shows that officers who don't manage their stress are prone to burnout, poor judgment, substance abuse, divorce, and suicide. Here are ways officers can look after their physical and mental health.
Being a police officer has never been easy, but recent events have made it even more difficult to be an officer. Incidents like Ferguson and Baltimore have put officers and agencies under severe public scrutiny. These highly publicized events have served as a wake-up call for many agencies to enhance officer training, improve policies and procedures, and revitalize community relations.
The public cannot let these events overshadow the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice made by our nation’s law enforcement officers. May 10-16 is National Police Week 2015, a time to show gratitude for those officers who died on the job. It is also a time to thank current officers who continue to dedicate their lives to protecting our communities.
Officer-involved shootings, line-of-duty deaths and injuries, child victims, employee suicide, and mass-casualty incidents are all events that can trigger traumatic-stress disorders for first responders. If post-traumatic stress is not addressed, it can often lead to faulty decision making, increased disciplinary problems, tardiness, on-the-job accidents, citizen complaints, and officer turnover.
Agencies need to take proactive steps to help officers heal by implementing a critical incident stress management (CISM) program to mitigate long-term mental-health issues for first responders.
Many of our veterans experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of trauma suffered during their military service. Such disorders can adversely influence a veteran’s ability to control behavior and can lead to impulsivity, disinhibition, anger, and aggression. Unfortunately, such behavior can contribute to veterans violating the law. Learn more about the creation of veteran treatment courts, which provide the criminal justice system a way to respond proactively by assisting veterans rather than punishing them.
By Leischen Stelter, editor of In Public Safety
The holiday season can be a joyous time spent celebrating with family and loved ones and reflecting on another year gone by. But, for many people, the holidays can be extremely difficult. For those struggling with mental health issues or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the holidays can evoke an array of unpleasant emotions.
By Mark Bond, Faculty Member, Criminal Justice at American Military University
As a profession, we openly talk about officer safety, yet we refuse to talk about the number one killer of police officers: law enforcement suicide. Law enforcement suicide is real and yet the police culture continues to ignore the facts.