Law enforcement is stuck in a mental health crisis, which for now seems like it will never end. From Ferguson to the United States Capitol the vitriol thrust on our law enforcement family verbally coupled with the physical violence has been non-stop.
These attacks are taking a toll on our nation’s warriors and their families. The ramifications of officer mass exodus is slowly starting to come to the forefront in the minds of the public we serve and the governmental bodies that should be serving their employees with respect.
The only example we can think of, as a comparison, is how our Vietnam veterans were treated when they returned from war. They were treated horribly by some of the public, some of the media, by Hollywood, and some in government. It took decades for these men and women to finally feel welcomed home and treated with respect. But for many of those veterans the mental health damage was too much to overcome. May they Rest In Peace.
Right now our law enforcement family is experiencing a similar backlash. We ourselves have had to log off of social media, turn off the 24-hour television news, throw away newspapers and magazines, tune out agenda driven politicians and filter certain Hollywood productions on television since they push a narrative that says “all cops are bad.”
If our mental health is affected, think about a nation of officers and their families that are impacted. The long term effects of these attacks will have decades of consequences on this nation. It will take decades for our law enforcement family to finally recover from the mental health traumas they are currently experiencing. But for some, the mental health damage has been too much to overcome. May they Rest In Peace.
In the future our collected traumatic stories will be told. Until then we have to hang on tight. We know the days, weeks, and years ahead are going to be rough for our law enforcement officers and their families. Here’s what you can do to foster a healthier environment:
- Stick together
- Keep the communication lines open
- Have contingency plans ready
- Don’t get sucked into the negative
- Focus on the positives
- Limit your exposure to media and social media
- Stay in the here and now
- Keep your homes calm and peaceful
Don’t forget there are many peer support teams, organizations, chaplains, and clinicians who are here for our law enforcement family. There is help available. Take care and be safe.
It’s all about living, loving, and caring.
COPline / 1-800-COPLINE 1-800-267-5463
Warrior’s Rest Foundation
Cyndi Doyle / Code 4 Couples
Boudreaux 2.0 Counseling & Consulting
Nicholas Greco, C3 Education and Research, Inc.
Dr Stephanie Conn / First Responder Psychology