Master of Arts
Over the past several years, there has been a drastic change in the training and response for police officers responding to mental health related calls. Recently, there is also a growing focus on responding to the mental health of police officers. Reported police officer suicides are increasing at a drastic rate, with jumping from 172 in 2018 to 228 in 2019. While this does not necessarily mean the rates of officer suicides are rising, the number of reported suicides is and attention is growing. Due to the inherit traumatic nature of the job, police officers are more susceptible to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other mental health related issues. These issues are not isolated to police officers and also spread across the first responder field to include firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Through this paper, the author will explore possibilities for prevention of mental health problems in first responders and treatment methods for first responders already effected by mental health issues.