National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 | Crisis Text Line text BLUE to 741741
“Every day presents an officer with new challenges and new scenarios. Sometimes these challenges are stressful, physically and mentally demanding, and show a dark side of human nature. Officers’ mental wellness is just as vital to their job performance and overall health and well-being as their physical health, and they deserve the best mental health and wellness support available.”
The Signs Within: Suicide Prevention Education and Awareness
“We expect officers to perform like athletes physically, we expect their minds to be sharp like doctors in stressful situations, and we work them ridiculous hours. If we want officers to be effective and efficient in their jobs, we must support their wellness holistically. In doing so, department leaders must integrate the most effective strategies to improve and maintain officer mental health within their agencies.”
Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Programs: Eleven Case Studies
“It is important that family members understand the stressors and indicators in order to support their loved one in seeking department mental health assistance or professional help at crucial times.”
Breaking the Silence: A National Symposium on Law Enforcement Officer Suicide and Mental Health
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.