This week is National Police Week, and this month is Mental Health Awareness. In light of those two events we wanted to give you some facts about law enforcement and mental health. At Bio-One, we support our local law enforcement and try to do what we can for them. We know that their job is not an easy one and they could be exposed to things that may impact their physical and mental well-being. Many officers struggle with alcohol abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts, PTSD, and many other challenges. Below are some of the facts.
- Nearly 1 and 4 police officers has thoughts of suicide at some point in their life
- The suicide rate for police officers is four times higher than the rate for firefighters.
- In the smallest departments, the suicide rate for officers increases to almost four times the national average.
- More police die by suicide than in the line of duty. In 2017 there were an estimated 140 law enforcement suicides.
- Compared to the general population, law enforcement report much higher rates of depression, PTSD, burnout, and other anxiety related mental health conditions.
So, the next time you see a police officer, think about saying “thanks for all you do.” Let them know you support them and appreciate them for their daily hard work. If you really want to get involved, take a look at NAMI’s Crisis Intervention Team Program. You could also look at getting involved in your local non-profit organizations such as Pensacola Survivors, that works to bring awareness and prevention to suicide.
Rebecca and Gabriel Montenegro