An important subject that has been overlooked for far too long within the law enforcement community, mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
As police officers and family, friends, or loved ones of police officers, we have a unique perspective on the world around us. We put our lives at risk everyday as we see and experience life from a different angle than the vast majority of society. The occupational fatality rate for law enforcement is 3 to 5 times higher than the general public. As a result, our mental and emotional health is critical to our professional survival as well as the prosperity of our personal lives.
In this section, you will find resources that will help you - the police officer - and, you - the family member, friend or loved one - learn about how your body responds to emotion, how to manage stress, how to learn coping skills, how to identify warning signs, how to support yourself as well as others, and more.
help and information
Blue H.E.L.P. It is the mission of Blue H.E.L.P. to reduce mental health stigma through education, advocate for benefits for those suffering from post-traumatic stress, acknowledge the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers we lost to suicide, assist officers in their search for healing, and to bring awareness to suicide and mental health issues.
Badge of Life. This is an admired nonprofit whose mission is to lessen the impacts of stress and trauma, which can lead to mental wellness issues including suicide, upon active police officers and retirees. They conduct research and provide accurate statistics and profile information on law enforcement officer suicides in the U.S. The Badge of Life provides training and valuable information.
International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The IACP's Center for Officer Safety and Wellness was created to centralize all existing efforts by promoting resources and encouraging a cultural shift within law enforcement agencies by emphasizing the values of safety, health, and wellness as they impact officer performance. The Center focuses on all aspects of an officer’s safety, health, and wellness, both on and off the job. The website includes a docudrama, BLUE, that was created by the Philadelphia Police Department as well as suicide prevention information and materials for agencies.
National Center for PTSD. The National Center for PTSD, created by the Department of Veterans Affairs for military servicemembers, is dedicated to research and education on trauma and post traumatic stress disorder. The Center works to assure that the latest research findings help those exposed to trauma. This is a tremendous resource for military veterans as well as police officers and their loved ones.
Under the Shield. The goal at Under the Shield is to meet the unique needs of law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical service, military personnel and their family members by providing support through confidential services, education, and public awareness. Military and emergency services statistically lead our society in suicide, alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence, divorce, depression, and PTSD. These statistics are indicative of the serious lack of support and resources for law enforcement personnel and their families. Thus, the necessity for the creation of Under the Shield.
The Neurosculpting Institute. The Neurosculpting Institute works to manage your stress, improve your health and discover calm and joy. In simple terms, Neurosculpting® is a 5-step meditation process that can strategically help an individual release the grip of old patterns and entrain their brain to creating new and more supportive patterns, habits and behaviors.
Serve & Protect. Serve & Protect facilitates trauma services for public safety professionals, locating the right resource to address the real issues they face. They "narrowcast" the facilitation locating a resource in their community that takes their insurance and understands their job.
CopsAlive.com. CopsAlive.com is operated by The Law Enforcement Survival Institute and was founded to provide information, strategies, and tools to help police officers plan happy, healthy and successful careers, relationships, and lives. They offer information and training.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. They have many different educational programs for families, loved ones, and individuals as well as offering a HelpLine.