Provide Mental Health Interventions and Prevent Police Suicides

Target: Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney General

Goal: Develop enhanced training protocols and programs to help law enforcement at risk of suicide.

September marks Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Tens of thousands of people die by their own hand every year in the United States. For individuals involved in high-stress service professions, such as veterans and police officers, these numbers are often disproportionate to the numbers killed in the line of duty. After the Capitol insurrection, four officers involved in the day’s tragic events reportedly died by suicide. Following the Afghanistan withdrawal, the numbers of calls to veterans’ suicide hotlines have also risen.

Suicide does not happen in a vacuum. Mental health is one of America’s most prevalent but hidden and stigmatized issues. Many of these tragedies could be averted if the organizations and agencies tasked with preparing and training professionals for the hardships they will face took mental health more seriously. Too many agencies lack the information or resources to implement better practices or to hire well-trained mental health providers. Currently, no requirement exists for agencies to even report law enforcement suicides. Effective policies and targeted training should not be an agency-by-agency effort, though. A comprehensive and broad-based plan of action needs to occur at the national level.

Sign the petition below to demand the country’s foremost law enforcement authority confront this festering wound fully and take long-needed action.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Attorney General Garland,

Depression, anxiety, panic attacks: such issues are not mere inconveniences. They affect law enforcement personnel at rates much higher than the general population. When left untreated, too often these stigmatized illnesses lead to the ultimate tragedy. Today, more officers lose their lives to suicide than in the line of duty.

The military—another branch that endures this same deadly problem—is taking decisive steps and action. The Department of Justice is supposedly evaluating a report from the International Association of Chiefs of Police on officer suicides in order to develop a national plan of action to include measures such as routine mental health checks, employee assistance programs, in-house mental healthcare, peer support, crisis lines, and gatekeeper training.

With each passing day of inaction, more lives are tragically taken away and more families irrevocably changed forever. Please follow through with this commitment, make the necessary investments, and act with urgency.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Pixabay 


One Comment

  1. Myrna Burdick says:

    Attorney General Garland, The people
    in the military are obviously suffering when we see the number of homeless wand
    ering aimlessly. Our small city has a soup kitchen to provide cooked meals,showers, health care and clothes. No questions are asked but all know who to approach for resources.Not sure how the Police handle this issue -will have to talk to the Police Chief.
    Our military, Police and Fire personnel face scarey situations. They put their life on the line for us. We must make mental health services out in the open so those needing it are not embarrassed to use
    it.
    One thing that does bother me are the military back from battle with a diagnosis of PTSD how much psychological help do they get? and a lot of these guys are Policemen.

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