National Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Day is observed on September 26 every year. This day brings attention to the tragedy of suicide. Furthermore, it aims to promote open a dialogue regarding law enforcement officers’ mental health and continue to dispel the stigma of getting help. Blue H.E.L.P created National Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Day in 2020 to recognize the issue, support the families, provide solutions, respect those who have died, and continue to raise awareness to end suicide. We must assure everyone that they are not alone.
History of National Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Day
According to a recent study, police officers have the most significant suicide risk of any employment. During their careers, those in the profession witness an average of 188 critical incidents. Although these experiences exact a heavy toll on law enforcement officers, many still do not seek treatment or help. Those police officers are five times more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (P.T.S.D.) and depression than civilians. Due to continuous trauma exposure and daily on-the-job stress, more officers die by their own hands than felonious attacks each year.
National Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Day was established to honor the service of officers who died by suicide while on duty and promote awareness about suicide in the law enforcement community. This day also reminds officers and their families that they are not alone and that assistance is available. It will also assist in reducing the stigma attached to seeking treatment and recognizing that one incident does not define a life.
On September 26, we highlighted initiatives bringing about good change and tools to assist law enforcement officers experiencing mental health issues. National Enforcement Suicide Awareness Day was created by Blue H.E.L.P., a First H.E.L.P. program (Honor, Educate, Lead, Prevent). Blue H.E.L.P. wants to ensure we focus on this issue and never forget that first responders should be honored for the service they gave to their communities, and their families are supported in the aftermath. We encourage others to seek help when needed.
National Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Day timeline
Karen Solomon, Jeffrey McGill, and Steve Hough start Blue H.E.L.P to address the issue of suicide and mental health among law enforcement.
Blue H.E.L.P receive its 501(c) 3 title and are now the only organization in the U.S. that collects law enforcement suicide data and regularly supports families in the aftermath.
This documentary is written and directed by Jason Harney and is about the stories of six police officers who inspired retired Police Lieutenant Randy Sutton's organization.
Blue H.E.L.P. creates this day to acknowledge the issue, support the families, and continue raising awareness to end suicide.
National Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Day FAQs
What is the rate of suicide among law enforcement officers?
Law enforcement officers are 54% more likely to commit suicide than all decedents with a usual occupation.
Where can we contact Blue H.E.L.P.?
You can contact this organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why are law enforcement officers more likely to suicide?
Law enforcement officers often witness great human devastation, including major vehicle crashes, conflicts, homicide, suicide, domestic violence, and child abuse.
How to Observe National Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Day
Tell others about the day
Sharing a post on social media is an excellent approach to let others know about this day. You can draw attention to the rising number of police officers who commit suicide and the impact on their families.
Participate in awareness walks
Awareness walks are held in different parts of the U.S. The proceeds of these walks are used for the welfare of families affected by suicide. You can enter the official website and search for the nearest walk.
Empathize and show that you care
Increase public awareness of the rising number of suicides among law enforcement officers and emphasize the early warning indicators of suicide. Break the stigma of mental illness by educating people and letting them know they are not alone.
5 Facts About Suicidal Behaviour
Severe sadness or moodiness
Long-lasting sadness, mood swings, and unexpected rage are symptoms of suicidal behavior.
Suicidal behavior is characterized by a deep sense of hopelessness about the future and little expectation that things will improve.
Having sleep problems or insomnia is a symptom of suicidal behavior.
If a person becomes calm after a period of depression or moodiness, it could be a sign that he has decided to end his life.
If a person suddenly withdraws from social life and loses interest in things he used to enjoy earlier, it could be a sign of severe depression, leading to suicide.
Why National Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Day is Important
The importance of law enforcement officers
It is a day to highlight the importance of taking care of law enforcement officers. Their primary and essential job duties often contribute to physical and emotional stress, which can compromise an officer's ability to serve and protect effectively.
Encouraging law enforcement officers to ask for help
Maintaining law enforcement officers' health and safety often requires a delicate balancing act. Continuous exposure to cumulative stress and traumatic events can wreak havoc on this nation's public servants' bodies, minds, and lives.
Smashing the stigma
Asking for help is essential when you are struggling. Some organizations' mission is to educate law enforcement officers and agencies to understand the causes of suicide better, recognize possible warning signs, and explore available resources for assistance.
National Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Day dates