Category: Public Safety
Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with suicide prevention.
Emotional stress can be caused by a single significant event or by the accumulated stress over years on the job.
You know we’ve talked about this before, both on the law enforcement side and on the fire side. It is an important topic, though, that we are going to continue to hit. According to some sources, more public safety personnel die each year at their own hands than in the line of duty.
When you hear firefighters and cops discuss their years on the job over, you may hear discussions about the pains in the shoulder, the bad back, the knee that can forecast the weather or other talk of the physical effects of years on the job. But, you don’t hear too many discussions about the mental toll many experience along the way.
Emotional stress can be caused by a single significant event or by the accumulated stress over years on the job. No matter what the cause of the stress is, if it is not recognized and treated, this stress can ultimately result in burnout, or worse, it may result in suicide. An important thing to remember is that with treatment this can be prevented.
Here are some warning signs to help identify someone at risk for suicide:
- Talk about wanting to die or kill themselves
- Talk about having no reason to live
- Talk about feeling trapped
- Beginning to use alcohol or drugs or increased use of drugs and alcohol
- Reckless behavior
- Giving away possessions
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Displaying extreme mood swings
Everyone needs to be aware that the potential for suicide is real and anyone can be at risk. Watch for the warning signs and reach out to those who may be at risk. Help them find the help they need and support your brother or sister when they need help the most.
And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off.