Public safety professionals, including law enforcement officers, face many job-related stressors that can negatively impact their mental health and well-being. Emotional injuries and suicide among public safety professionals are a significant concern. In fact, one study found that police officers and firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty.
To address this issue, EDC, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention founded and are now leading the National Consortium on Preventing Law Enforcement Suicide. The National Consortium leverages the expertise of its members (mental health experts, public safety leaders, families of police officers, academic professionals, and representatives of government agencies) to examine the complex issues underlying law enforcement suicide.
The National Consortium’s work includes the following activities:
- Develop national recommendations to guide the law enforcement and public safety fields in preventing officer suicide
- Create a national toolkit for law enforcement officer suicide prevention with specific suggestions for operationalizing the recommendations, including a Comprehensive Framework for Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention
- Consult on developing safe suicide prevention messaging to change the conversation around suicide by emphasizing messages of hope, recovery, and resiliency in law enforcement and the public safety field
- Develop policy guidance to assist law enforcement agencies on appropriate steps to take following the suicide death of an officer
- Develop and launch a national response team to provide technical assistance, consultation, and support to surviving families, law enforcement agencies, and communities following the suicide loss of an officer
Read more about the project in the articles “Key Strategies to Prevent Suicide Among Law Enforcement” and “Focus on Officer Wellness: A Chief’s Role in Preventing Suicide,” published in the IACP’s Police Chief magazine.
- EDC and IACP developed an issue brief on preventing suicide, which was reviewed and commended by the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice.
- The new national recommendations and toolkit will support police departments in all 50 U.S. states.
International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention