CALIFORNIA: A New Emphasis on Mental Health for Cops, Other Officers
June 26, 2017
Efforts are underway to address the mental health needs of correctional and law enforcement officers in California. The Correctional Officer Health and Wellness Project is surveying correctional and parole officers on their experiences with violence, suicide, and mental health issues. Among the first of its kind, the study is a collaboration between the University of California, Berkeley and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. Researchers plan to pilot test interventions, such as peer support and stress reduction, with the aim of developing effective long-term programs. Some local law enforcement agencies are also making efforts to improve officer mental health. The Stockton Police Department recently won the Officer Wellness Award given out by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and was cited for its “wellness network” promoting mental, physical, and spiritual health. Police Chief Eric Jones said, “I definitely think if our officers, by and large, are coming to work mentally and physically ready, and they enjoy their job, they are going to be much better at reducing crime.”
Spark Extra! Learn more about suicide prevention in justice system and law enforcement settings.