Suicide Prevention Month
This is not an easy blog to write. September is National Prevention Awareness Month. It’s ironic that September is the month where suicide hit closest to home for me.
The incredibly brave people that are in law enforcement today are taking a beating. Physical beatings while crowds of people stand by and watch or record the event. Psychological beatings on the frontlines of riots or while watching the evening news. It seems that the hits keep coming and there isn’t an end in sight.
This profession has made tremendous strides in recent years addressing the stigma associated with our first responders struggling with dark thoughts. In many agencies, it is no longer considered taboo for employees to admit they are in a bad place mentally. There are even some agencies that encourage this type of transparency. What a difference a few years make.
Every single class that I teach I end with this topic. Because, if we are honest with each other, the biggest threat to the lives of those in the law enforcement profession is ourselves. If you look at the years where the data has been compiled, the number of law enforcement deaths caused by suicide always outnumber those killed in the line of duty. This is not to minimize those who pay the ultimate sacrifice – they are deserving of our appreciation, our honor, and continued service. But we cannot ignore the real danger posed by our own hand.
I encourage you to visit www.bluehelp.org. An incredible organization of volunteers completely dedicated to helping those in the law enforcement community. Their website contains some of the best resources for those in this honorable profession. Give them a shot. You’re worth it.
I encourage each of you to reach out to your brothers and sisters in law enforcement during this month – it’s buddy check time. But don’t just do it this month. Take care of each other every single day.
And finally, I miss you, Hollywood. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you. Every…single…day.