National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 | Crisis Text Line text BLUE to 741741
This infographic provides law enforcement executives a snapshot of the trend in officer suicide and offers a starting point for solutions to help prevent tragedy within their own agencies.
Access Clearinghouse Resource
This webinar is the first of a four-part series that provides an officer’s support systems with ways to identify and address “concerning” behaviors before they result in negative and life-altering outcomes. The webinar works through scenarios using four key questions and conversation starters to use in real life.
Access Clearinghouse Resource
“The consistent need to function at a peak performance level is physically and mentally exhausting. The basic job duties, though essential, often contribute to physical and emotional stress, which can compromise an officer's ability to effectively serve and protect. Incessant exposure to cumulative stress and traumatic events can wreak havoc on the bodies, minds, and lives of this nation's public servants. Maintaining their health and safety often requires a delicate balancing act.”
Mitigating the Emotional Impact of Stress on Law Enforcement Personnel
“On a daily basis, officers experience job-related stressors that can range from interpersonal conflicts to extremely traumatic events, such as vehicle crashes, homicide, and suicide. This cumulative exposure can affect officers' mental and physical health, contributing to problems such as post-traumatic stress symptoms, substance misuse, depression, and suicidal ideation. Law enforcement agencies may help mitigate the impact of these stressors by implementing effective prevention strategies, such as building a culture of support throughout the department; ensuring access to culturally competent mental health and wellness services; and reducing barriers to help-seeking within their departments, social circles, and community, as a whole.”
Preventing Suicide Among Law Enforcement Officers (NOSI)
This infographic details what resilience is and the four types of resilience: physical, emotional, spiritual, and cognitive.
This foundational video discusses the fear of seeking assistance in law enforcement. Listen to John Bouthillette, a lead instructor with SAFLEO, and Dr. Olivia Johnson, a program advisor and lead instructor with the SAFLEO Program, as they discuss how fear is a normal emotion that stems from the unknown. The goal of the SAFLEO Program is to teach that fear is okay-expect to have a certain level of fear, but be equipped with the ability to override it with action by seeking assistance when you need it.
In this SAFLEO Sessions Podcast, John Bouthillette, a lead instructor with the SAFLEO Program, has a conversation with Dr. Olivia Johnson, the program advisor and lead instructor for the SAFLEO Program, about the role of law enforcement leadership in officer mental health. They discuss how every executive has a responsibility to the health and safety of their officers and what that looks like in an organization.
In this SAFLEO Podcast, Michon Morrow, captain at the Lincoln, Nebraska, Police Department with 23 years of experience, has a conversation with Lieutenant Mike Madden, who spent 28 years in law enforcement before retiring from the San Bernardino, California, Police Department. Lieutenant Madden worked in a variety of roles during his career and was amongst the first responding officers on the scene following the San Bernardino terrorist attack in 2015, a mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center. They discuss his journey in the aftermath of that attack, how it impacted him and his department, and the lessons that were learned.
In this SAFLEO Podcast, Floyd Wiley with the SAFLEO Program has a conversation with Officer George Mussini, a 22-year veteran of the Baltimore County, Maryland, Police Department, about a peer-to-peer support group Officer Mussini developed for his agency after he was involved in a critical incident. They discuss how peer-to-peer support is so important, some of the hurdles that they had to overcome to create an effective peer group, and how you can start one for your agency.
In this SAFLEO Podcast, Brandon Post, a captain with the Provo, Utah, Police Department, has a conversation with Matthew Faulk, a law enforcement and public service sector contractor, about mid-level leadership and mid-level support networks. They discuss how supervisors must take care of themselves first before they can take care of other people and where they can go to receive support.
In this SAFLEO Sessions Podcast, Chief Dan Stump (retired) with the SAFLEO Program has a conversation with Sergeant Matt Faulk of the Tucson, Arizona, Police Department about debriefing after a traumatic event. They discuss how the effects of a traumatic event linger well beyond the end of the actual event and how important and beneficial it is to debrief after such an event.
In this SAFLEO Podcast, Chief John Bouthillette, a lead instructor with the SAFLEO Program, has a conversation with retired Captain Brian Nanavaty, a 33-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, about five factors that are barriers to the success of law enforcement officers and how to overcome those challenges.
In this SAFLEO podcast, Chief John Bouthillette, a lead instructor with the SAFLEO Program, has a conversation with retired Captain Brian Nanavaty, a 33-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, about officer wellness programs and the process Captain Nanavaty went through in developing a wellness program for his department. They discuss the “why,” personal survival, preventative maintenance, and the leadership it takes to develop a program that will benefit your officers.
Compartmentalization is a necessary skill in law enforcement to be able to continue to operate. In this SAFLEO Sessions Podcast, Chief John Bouthillette, a lead instructor with the SAFLEO Program, has a conversation with Captain Brandon Post from the Provo, Utah, Police Department about a critical incident in Captain Post’s career. Officers are often involved in events that are extremely emotionally impactful. These incidents have a cumulative impact and can affect you when you do not expect it.
In this podcast, Floyd Wiley, a lead instructor with the VALOR Program, is joined by John Bouthillette, a retired chief of police from the South River, New Jersey, Police Department and a lead instructor for the SAFLEO and VALOR Programs. They discuss the concept of smashing the stigma and how it is important for leaders to establish an organizational culture of safety and wellness in their agencies.
Effective suicide prevention training must have a comprehensive approach, focusing on occupational risks and support from law enforcement agencies, colleagues, families, and friends. To combat law enforcement suicide, agencies must place a priority on officer wellness with the same level of attention as tactical training. This goes beyond being just an agency responsibility; we all must place this issue as a priority—it is critical and could mean the difference between life and death.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) believes that the law enforcement community deserves better access to officer wellness resources and suicide prevention strategies. It has created a multifaceted approach to address law enforcement suicide. The SAFLEO Program is one of two critical pieces under this work and is funded under the Officer Robert Wilson III Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement Officers and Ensuring Officer Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) Initiative. BJA, through SAFLEO, provides training, technical assistance, and resources to law enforcement agencies, staff, and families, to raise awareness, smash the stigma, and reduce and prevent law enforcement suicide.
SAFLEO closely collaborates with the National Consortium on Preventing Law Enforcement Suicide, BJA’s second critical program in its work to reduce and prevent law enforcement suicide. SAFLEO uses the Consortium’s findings and outcomes to ensure that the latest information and strategies in suicide prevention are being addressed in SAFLEO’s curriculum and resources.