- The problem: A crisis of suicide in law enforcement
- The solution: A public safety app for officer wellbeing
- The benefits of law enforcement wellness resources
The problem: A crisis of suicide in law enforcement
First released in 2018, the Ruderman Foundation study, Mental Health and Suicide of First Responders, revealed law enforcement professionals are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. An updated version released in 2022 found the same tragic statistic hasn’t changed. Amidst this national crisis of suicide in law enforcement, supporting officer wellness is more important than ever.
This challenge isn’t limited to large departments. The suicide rate in smaller departments is four times the national average. With staffing shortages, officers in smaller departments take on increased workloads and often have the fewest wellness resources. Over time, the daily stresses officers encounter can lead to burnout, PTSD, and severe depression.
The stigma surrounding law enforcement asking for wellness support makes it a challenging topic to broach. Officers feel they must “tough it out” over concerns that they’ll experience judgment or career consequences for seeking help. Unfortunately, this mindset can be isolating, negatively impacting officer wellness in your department.
Officers regularly confront high-pressure, stressful situations, and this takes a toll. Law enforcement health and wellness programs can provide valuable support before officers reach the point of burnout, depression, or further tragedy. But, for these resources to be effective, officers need to be comfortable using them.
The solution: A public safety app for officer wellbeing
A wellbeing app can support the mission of suicide prevention for police officers by offering resources before they’re in crisis. The main barriers to officers seeking support are a lack of anonymity, the belief that no one can relate, and the stigma that officers seeking support aren’t fit for duty. But PowerDMS’s public safety app, PowerLine, enables your department to provide wellbeing resources free from stigma that officers feel confident using.
Built for law enforcement
PowerLine is a one-stop wellbeing app built to support officer wellness. Designed for law enforcement professionals, PowerLine’s uniquely targeted features make it the best app for police departments to enhance health and wellness programs.
The public safety app includes an extensive content library of audio, videos, and articles that specifically address the challenges impacting law enforcement wellness today. Your agency can also upload your established wellness services directly into the app, giving officers access to details for your local clergy, peer supporters, or other department resources.
Nationwide network of peer volunteers
In PowerLine, officers have access to a nationwide network of peer volunteers who work in law enforcement and understand what they’re going through. Law enforcement professionals at every level in your agency can match with peer volunteers based on rank, experience, and the department’s volume of high-impact crime.
By communicating with peers who’ve experienced the same challenges, officers know they aren’t alone in needing – and seeking – support. Individuals can also connect with peer volunteers in anonymous, topic-driven group sessions or meet individually.
Officers’ identities and activity are completely anonymous in PowerLine. User conversations are deleted immediately, and there is never a risk of public disclosure or having activity reported to superiors. Your officers can anonymously access targeted support 24/7, use anonymous screen names and video avatars during group or individual sessions, and get help without worrying about the possibility of judgment or career consequences.
The benefits of law enforcement wellness resources
The high rate of suicide in law enforcement is a tragedy. Providing comprehensive wellness resources and removing common barriers to seeking help could be the first steps toward making a difference and giving officers the support they need.
With PowerLine, law enforcement professionals can anonymously access wellbeing resources on their own terms before they're in crisis. The public safety app allows them to build important connections with others who understand what they’re going through and confidently get the support they need without stigma or judgment.
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Investing in a wellbeing app that your officers are comfortable using means your agency can provide resources that will work to improve officer wellness. Ultimately, making support for law enforcement more accessible and trustworthy ensures your agency is putting the proper preventative measures in place to mitigate future tragedy.