Dr. McCoy, psychotherapist and author, returns to the show (previous appearance here) for a special interview about law enforcement officer suicide. This is not your typical water cooler topic, and certainly different than the personal growth show you may be used to hearing at The Overwhelmed Brain.
However, it is an important subject matter, and one that I wanted to share as soon as I could. Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) are subject to an entirely different set of challenges at their jobs, and many of us aren’t aware of the struggles and emotional pain they go through when dealing with some of the more violent criminal behavior. The photos, videos, and actual events they witness that the general public never sees can burn images into their minds forever. Things that cannot be “unseen”.
There are programs in place to help LEOs considering suicide, but often an officer doesn’t want to be “found out” and stripped of his or her badge, or worse, ridiculed for not “dealing with” what they witnessed. There can be pressure from both inside and outside the department to always maintain a level head, and show those around you that you’re tough, and can handle what the job throws at you. But some LEOs feel like the only answer is suicide, and take the fastest route possible to get out of the pain they are in.
Whether you are a law enforcement officer, a parent, a brother, a sister, or a friend, we’ve all been subject to news about someone’s death. When the news is that someone took their own life, the effect on the family and community can be devastating.
For this interview, we keep it fairly light-hearted. We don’t want to get all down and talk about how awful and sad suicide is. Dr. McCoy says that we are not here to be sad about what has happened, we are here to be happy that we have solutions.
If you are a law enforcement officer, or anyone considering suicide, listen to this interview with an open mind. Use the numbers and websites below to get help, or at least find out what kind of help there is. And hey, if you don’t want to tell them who you are, don’t! Stay anonymous, and you can pour it all out without anyone knowing who you are.
Favorite quote from this interview:
“Look at the things we can control, not the things we cannot control… What can I control, what can I do, how can I move forward?”
What Dr. McCoy teaches us:
- The statistics of law enforcement officer suicide
- A surprising fact that other countries don’t keep records of officer suicides
- Possible reasons why suicide rates are so high among officers
- Why some officers are reluctant to accept help
- Some of the signs to look for in someone who might be considering suicide
- The high percentage of people who changed their mind after requesting an assisted suicide
- The number one treatment recommended by the VA (EMDR)
- Who an officer can talk to about suicide
- 24 hour suicide hotline: 800-784-2433 (800-SUICIDE)
- Another 24 hour suicide hotline: 800-273-8255 (800-273-TALK)
- Anonymous Copline: 800-267-5463 (press 8 from their voice mail) – This is not 24-7
- Military veterans suicide hotline: 800-273-8255 (press 1)
- Español: 800-273-8255 (pulse 2)
- TTY Users: 800-799-4889 (4tty)
- Hotlines by state: http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html
- International Hotlines: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html
- Article: Brake Lights Halfway to Eternity
- Downloadable Suicide Lifeline Wallet Card
Connect with Dr. McCoy!
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 919-245-1034