Mental Health Awareness Month: Law Enforcement
Policing is one of the most emotionally charging and challenging occupations. Officers and deputies are called to assist people experiencing their worst day, call after call, and usually after all other resources have been exhausted. Whether a victim of a violent crime, intense conflict situation, or a tragic accident, those in need require a calm and strong decision maker who can resolve their situation quickly and compassionately, and without getting hijacked by their own natural feelings and reactions. The nature of the work requires law enforcers to put their own natural emotions aside in the interest of assisting others under the most traumatic and shocking incidents. That takes a toll and invariably ends up becoming a default of numbing adapted by officers. This often impacts their entire being, including who they are when they are at home. Unless tended to, the intense emotional load and attempt to manage it can become overwhelming and create physical and psychic injuries and illness.
May is mental health awareness month. It’s also National Law Enforcement Memorial month, a time when we remember those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. To all of you law enforcement officers who professionally put aside your own feelings every day in the interest of caring for others during their worst of times, and to those who have lost beloved partners, coworkers, and family, know that you are loved, valued, and that you deserve an abundance of wellness. Use this month as an opportunity to check in on yourself and your partners, and totake advantage of the many resources available to help you be the best to yourself, those you love, and the public that you serve. Institutes of Health thanks you for your unwavering service and sacrifice!