The response must be a minimum of 150 words and a minimum of 2 references.
Territo, L., & Sewell, J.D. (2019). Stress management in law enforcement (4th ed.). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. ISBN: 9781531015756.
This week’s discussion focuses on the reasoning behind officers’ lack of requesting assistance when they are having psychological problems, whether on the job or personally. Police Officers have been told for years that the best way to deal with stress is to suck it up and move on because talking about one’s feelings is weak (Territo and Sewell, 2019). The authors continue by saying that due to the lack of support for mental health-related treatment, police officers turn toward avoidant coping mechanisms such as alcohol use and blocking out feelings rather than discussing them. With this time of fear among the officers, even with departmental assistance available, there is a stigma that comes with it. Another issue to consider is the location of the departmental assistance for officers battling psychological issues. An officer may fear being seen walking to the department’s assistance office or fear that the information they discuss will be given to supervisors or other officers. Regardless of the attempt at trust, the staff may produce by saying the information is confidential. Biblically speaking, trust is something we must learn to do. Scripture says, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee (King James Bible, 1769/2022, Psalms 56:3). Though it is sometimes hard to trust others, this is still something we must do when there is a need. We must realize that we are human and cannot always do things alone. Without proper assistance, we may go down a dark path from which we cannot return.
When it comes to the options available for law enforcement officers seeking help, it can be something other than non-sworn individuals who can assist. Territo and Sewell (2019) discuss the idea of the peer support group within law enforcement. They explain how peer support connects law enforcement and mental health by allowing officers interested in mental health to discuss helping those in need. Another program that Territo and Sewell said benefits law enforcement is the Badge of Life Psychological Survival for Police Officers Program. This program was founded by law enforcement, who understand the need for mental health assistance on the job. Law enforcement peers influence this program and are in different places around North America.
Having these types of programs available helps lead law enforcement to believe that wellness is possible. We must be thankful that society now sees the need for programs to help law enforcement survive a career of such magnitude. Over time, hopefully, new programs will come to light that can help law enforcement survive even longer on and off the job.
King James Bible. (2017). King James Bible Online. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/(Original work published 1769).
Territo, L. & Sewell, J.D. (2019). Stress Management in Law Enforcement. Durham: Carolina Academic Press