Why Police Officers Consider Suicide

Early in 2017 Humanizing the Badge conducted a survey that included responses for 3,892 police officers or former police officers.  About 41% of those responding indicated that they would consider suicide as an option under at least one of the following conditions:

  • Loss of a spouse, life partner, or child as a result of death
  • Loss of a spouse, life partner, or child as a result of divorce or separation
  • Diagnosed with a terminal illness
  • Responsibility for the death of a partner/colleague
  • Killing someone out of anger
  • Feeling isolated or alone
  • Being accused of sexual misconduct
  • Loss (or fearing the loss of) job due to being convicted of a crime or facing incarceration
  • Loss (or fearing the loss of) job due to receiving a mental health diagnosis

In addition to those who admitted they would consider suicide as an option, 43% said they have personally known an officer or former officer that has completed a suicide.  Over 78% said they are personally aware of a department or agency that has lost an officer to suicide.

If you are struggling with the stresses of the job and would like to reach out for free, confidential support, please send a message to our Facebook page at m.me/callforbackup.org/.

IF YOU ARE IN CRISIS NOW – PLEASE CALL 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255), or text the keyword BADGE to 741741 to be connected to a trained crisis counselor.  It’s confidential, free, and available 24/7.

Published by David R. Edwards, Ph.D., C.T.S.S.

David is a reserve police officer, chaplain, author, and educator, and a Certified Trauma Services Specialist. He is an approved instructor for the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association.

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