Officer.com reports that in the last 6 months of 2015, 51 law enforcement officers lost their lives to suicide. Police suicides represent twice the number of felonious officer deaths. It simply does not need to be that way.
I was informed this morning that one of my clients had committed suicide. There are resources available to law enforcement officers who suffer from PTSD, depression, or other illnesses that lead to suicide. The FOP has resources for officers who need help. In New Orleans, the NOPD officers help through its Officer Assistance Program which is headed up by Ms. Cecile Tebo. Tebo can be reached at 504-908-5799 and everything is confidential.
Alcohol and substance abuse are also common diseases associated with PTSD, depression, and the like. I recall a study which indicated that 25% of law enforcement officers suffer from alcohol or substance abuse. Domestic issues can also be a tremendous mental burden. Look out for yourself and your colleagues. If you feel like you are out of options, please pick up the phone. You can call Tebo, the suicide hotline (800-273-8255), a mental health professional, or call me if you need to (I am NOT a mental health professional). If you are worried about a colleague, say something. Err on the side of caution because sometimes there is no going back.