Event Title

Overlooked and Untreated Police Officer Mental Health: A Crucial Consideration in the Era of Reform

Presenter Information

Chelsea Arnold, Seattle University

Publication Date

2020

Start Date

29-8-2020 11:35 AM

End Date

29-8-2020 12:00 PM

Moderator

Hailey McNally

Description

Police officers suffer from undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues at alarming rates. Despite mental health services being offered by most departments, officers systematically avoid using them. For example, in a 2017 survey, 59.4% of officers reportedly felt that receiving treatment is a sign of personal failure. Furthermore, seeking mental health treatment is notoriously undervalued, not always confidential, and stigmatized across US police departments. Disturbingly, using mental health services can even result in an officer losing their job. All these factors cultivate a dangerous culture of treatment avoidance. Moreover, officers suffering from untreated mental health conditions pose a direct threat to themselves and to the communities they serve. This presentation will explore the mental illnesses plaguing American police departments today, in addition to exploring the factors that contribute to widespread treatment avoidance. Lastly, recommendations from the 2017 Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act will be explored as possible solutions to getting police officers the mental healthcare that they desperately need.

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Aug 29th, 11:35 AM Aug 29th, 12:00 PM

Overlooked and Untreated Police Officer Mental Health: A Crucial Consideration in the Era of Reform

Police officers suffer from undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues at alarming rates. Despite mental health services being offered by most departments, officers systematically avoid using them. For example, in a 2017 survey, 59.4% of officers reportedly felt that receiving treatment is a sign of personal failure. Furthermore, seeking mental health treatment is notoriously undervalued, not always confidential, and stigmatized across US police departments. Disturbingly, using mental health services can even result in an officer losing their job. All these factors cultivate a dangerous culture of treatment avoidance. Moreover, officers suffering from untreated mental health conditions pose a direct threat to themselves and to the communities they serve. This presentation will explore the mental illnesses plaguing American police departments today, in addition to exploring the factors that contribute to widespread treatment avoidance. Lastly, recommendations from the 2017 Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act will be explored as possible solutions to getting police officers the mental healthcare that they desperately need.