Mental Health Resources for Law Enforcement

An overview of the resources available to law enforcement officers on mental health and well-being.

Most police officers and law enforcement professionals don’t feel like they are getting the mental health support they need. Most of the time, they aren’t getting the support they need because police departments and law enforcement agencies aren’t doing much to educate officers about mental health or promote a culture of awareness.

Police officers are often the first line of defense when it comes to mental health emergencies. However, when it comes to personal mental health emergencies, they are not always equipped to deal with the situation. This is where mental health resources for law enforcement can help. There are a variety of resources available to officers who need help dealing with mental health emergencies.

The Need for Mental Health Resources for Police Officers

We do not know enough about the effect of mental health on police officers and law enforcement, who are often forced to deal with dangerous and sometimes toxic situations.

Many law enforcement agencies are in desperate need for mental health resources to keep officers on the job. Mental health issues are now recognized as the third leading cause of death for law enforcement personnel and affect a significant number of them. Police officers may be more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than other police personnel due to their inherent dangers, life-threatening situations, and emotional contact with the public. Additionally, police officers suffer from a higher rate of depression and mental illness than other professions.

We don't know enough about what we don't know: what are the effects of addiction on mental health? What can we learn from studies on police executives who have been alcoholics? What effect does alcohol addiction have on operational effectiveness? These questions haven’t been addressed in any research yet.

We need more reliable information about how police officers and law enforcement professionals respond to stressors — both in terms of their psychological health and their ability to function effectively in stressful situations — if we want them to be able to integrate these factors into their decision-making around issues such as use of force or weapons training.

Mental Health and Wellness for Law Enforcement

Police officers and law enforcement professionals can all benefit from an increased focus on mental health and officer well-being.

The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017 (LEMHWA) was signed into law in January 2018, recognizing that law enforcement agencies need and deserve support in their ongoing efforts to protect the mental health and well-being of their employees. Good mental and psychological health is just as essential as good physical health for police officers and law enforcement professionals to be effective in keeping our country and our communities safe from crime and violence.

What we do have control over is what we do with our time. One area within that control is how well we communicate about issues such as these — so if someone asks us for advice about whether something should be done because they are concerned about their own mental health (or lack thereof), then it would

In October of 2021, the United States Department of Justice announced funding to promote law enforcement mental health and wellness. These program funds are used to improve the delivery of and access to mental health and wellness services for law enforcement through training and technical assistance, demonstration projects, implementation of promising practices related to peer mentoring mental health and wellness and suicide prevention programs.

Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Grant Program

The Fiscal Year 2022 Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (LEMHWA) Program grant funds are used to improve the delivery of and access to mental health and wellness services for law enforcement through the implementation of peer support, training, family resources, suicide prevention, and other promising practices for wellness programs. The FY22 LEMHWA grant program will fund projects that develop knowledge, increase awareness of effective mental health and wellness strategies, increase the skills and abilities of law enforcement, and increase the number of law enforcement agencies and relevant stakeholders using peer support, training, family resources, suicide prevention, and other promising practices for wellness programs.

You can apply for the LEMHWA Grant by responding to the solicitation on the COPS website. If you're looking for additional grants and funding opportunities for law enforcement agencies, we made a curated list of the best grants for fiscal year 2022-2023.

Improving Officer Well Being and Mental Health Resources

One of the most pervasive problems facing law enforcement is the issue of mental health. Our officers are highly trained and practiced in handling dangerous situations and so what happens when an officer’s mental health declines?

The phenomenon is not new, but it has received much less attention than other issues. In fact, it may be one of the most under-discussed aspects of law enforcement.

The mental health care system is often divided into two different components:

  1. the general hospital system,
  2. community-based settings such as outpatient clinics and community-based services (both of which can be very effective in addressing mental health problems).

The general hospital system is very well known to be a place where people go when they need help. The problem is that many people don’t need help there; instead, they take their problems to those who can provide some sort of care or deliver a solution. This makes for a problematic situation for police officers: there are times when an officer must make a decision that may have serious consequences and there isn’t anyone to ask for advice or guidance from.

Conclusion

The overall concept of this blog was to provide awareness and promote open discussion on mental health and officer well-being, as well as promote the resources available to law enforcement officers. We hope that this post was able to help you find some information that was useful to you, and if you have any additional questions please contact us. If you're in search of grants available for law enforcement mental health and officer well being, please check out our 2022 Grants and Funding Opportunities Page.

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About Apex Officer

Apex Officer® is the leading provider of training simulators for the law enforcement, Defense, first responders, and educational markets. Apex Officer's proprietary technologies, software, and scenarios provide intense virtual reality training for de-escalation, judgmental use-of-force, marksmanship, crisis intervention, and related training that mimics real-world situations. Apex Officer’s mission is to use 21st-century technology to solve long-standing problems in policing and public safety.

About the Author

Carey Rhodes
Marketing Manager

Marketing Manger at Apex Officer