Articles, photos, reminders, and chain messages are making rounds on the internet encouraging people to be cognizant of potential mental health issues others are experiencing – to be wary, listen, support, and provide needed resources. First responders and law enforcers are typically the ones people contact when someone is in danger. But who protects the protectors? Given the violence and macabre elements they’re exposed to in their jobs, it is only imperative that they’re given the same level of support, if not more.
Karen Solomon and Amy Morgan team up for this webinar to discuss suicide in the public safety field. Amy Morgan is the founder of Academy Hour and a Justice Clearinghouse regular who offers courses on mental health and leadership. She is a certified trainer for Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), QPR, Crisis Intervention and provides her services to different law enforcement and first responder organizations. Meanwhile, Karen has interviewed hundreds of law enforcement officers and their loved ones in her mission to understand the trauma and stress that comes with the career. She also wrote the books Hearts Beneath the Badge and The Price They Pay.
Together, they share their expertise talking about suicide in law enforcement. Points discussed in this course include:
- What leads to suicide and a powerful analogy that allows us to understand the struggle of those contemplating suicide.
- Statistics that illustrate the prevalence of suicide based on the officers’ age and length of service.
- The importance of keeping retired officers engaged to prevent suicide within this segment as shown in statistics.
- What suicide is about, its two major reasons, and vicarious trauma that officers are exposed to which aggravates their existing stress.
- Prevention as a key component in addressing the issues that emphasizes the importance of awareness to potential suicide warning signs.
- A case sample of a less than ideal approach an agency took to deal with an officer who committed suicide and refusing assistance to his family.
- Intervention that leverages communication skills to help a struggling person slowly release their burdens.
- The challenges posed by the stigma surrounding suicide and seeking help for mental health issues.
- Recommendations on how to eradicate the stigma and provide support instead of judgment.
- Guidelines on how to assist someone suffering from trauma, depression and suicide ideation.
- Two case examples that show how two officers were able to get the help they need and recover through the help of their agencies.
- Various resources available to help with wellness, mental health, and suicide.
Resources Mentioned During Webinar:
- The Price They Pay: By Karen Solomon
- Hearts Beneath the Badge: By Karen Solomon
- Academy Hour: On-Line Training from Amy Morgan
- Blue H.E.L.P
- National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Page Destination Zero
- “I truly enjoyed the access and information regarding the resources available for departments/individuals.” — Melodie
- “Excellent and needed training on a very sensitive topic. I enjoyed the energy of both of the instructors. I look forward to more training on this topic.” — Matthew
- “I totally never knew a law enforcement dept would treat a family different if an officer committed suicide.” — Stefani
- “Thank you for drawing attention to the lack of support by most agencies. It is a professional problem.” — Tamarie
- “Really good information and live examples of the issue of suicide.” — Ricardo
- “It was the awareness of the signs an individual might be considering taking their life. The presentation was very well organized.” — Richard
- “Very astounding statistics.” — Robin
- “This was one of the best webinars I’ve participated in!! Thank you, Karen Solomon and Amy Morgan!” — Laura