People in each group
must journal at least one other timeoutside of initial entry
and are graded both on your owncontent/capacity for reflection and evaluation but also on your engagement withothers in your small group. (e.g., your additional journal entries do not haveto be directly in response to others, but must reflect that you have read andare incorporating what you are learning from your peers and theirperspectives).
People in each group must journal at least one other time outside of initial entry
Group # 2 People in each group must journal at least one other time outside of initial entry and are graded both on your own content/capacity for reflection and evaluation but also on your engagement with others in your small group. (e.g., your additional journal entries do not have to be directly in response to others, but must reflect that you have read and are incorporating what you are learning from your peers and their perspectives). Understanding police suicide, learning how to become proactive in the prevention of police suicide, and offering support to survivors and training to agencies is the ultimate goal for foundations such as: The National Police Suicide Foundation and The Badge of Life. However, understanding police suicide is a difficult feat because of under reporting and mislabeled causes of death by police agencies. Therefore, statistics of police suicide are often times extremely skewed. However, just to get an understanding of the toll stress takes on law enforcement, a rough statistic, according to an article from Radford University, is that “…the best estimate of suicide in the law enforcement profession is 18.1 per 100,000. This figure is 52% greater than that of the general population.” (Aamodt & Stalnaker, 2006). To help this statistic sink in a little more, according to The Badge of Life, on average each year there are 130 police suicides. This means that an officer commits suicide roughly every 81 hours and that more officers die each year by their own hand than of shootings and traffic accidents combined (The Badge of Life). Even though researchers and mental health professionals have their work cut out for them when it comes to receiving accurate police suicide rates and how to combat police suicide, it is helpful to understand some of the foundations of police suicide. First and foremost, let us acknowledge that suicide in general is a maladaptive coping mechanism, but is often triggered by “police culture”. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the leading cause of police suicide. According to The Badge of Life, for every one officer that commits suicide, there are 1,000 others that are struggling with and suffering from PTSD. In respect to law enforcement, there are many things that officers have to deal with on a daily basis that can eventually take a toll on their mental health if they are not, a) proactively obtaining help before a critical incident occurs or b) reactively engaging in positive/adaptive strategies to help cope with a critical incident that occurred. The career lifestyle of law enforcement is not an easy one, even if an officer goes through his/her entire career without really experiencing a critical incident. Violanti (2007), did a good job at naming a few examples: the long hours, overtime mandates, rotating schedules (i.e. two weeks of day shift/two weeks of night shift), sleep deprivation, limited social life, family problems due to the complicated work schedules, and trust issues between community/police and police/politicians. Honestly, the list could go on and that doesn’t even begin to cover thestressors police officers face while on duty, in regard to the calls they respond to. When looking at it from this perspective, it is not hard to understand how so many police officers suffer from PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Do any of you think that there is any way for mental health professionals to receive more accurate statistics for police suicide? In recent years, the police suicide rate has fallen; so in your personal opinion, what do you think police agencies, in partnership with mental health practitioners, can do to continue to lower the police suicide rates? I look forward to discussing this with you over the next few weeks!