Florida

FMPD officers create a mental health support program for their comrades

Fort myers

Police officers are one of the first aids at the disaster scene. Helping families in life-changing emergencies is part of their job, but after hundreds of those calls, it’s hard for police officers to be open about what they’ve experienced.

In an exclusive interview with WINK News, we spoke with an officer leading the Fort Myers Police Program, which is working to initiate a conversation about the mental health of those at the forefront of tragedy.

The sacrificial events they face include shootings, domestic violent conflicts, fatal accidents and child abuse.

For those involved, it may seem like the worst moment of life, but for police officers, it’s the type of phone they answer every day.

“People and cops need to remember that there is a heart behind this badge. It’s not like this ultimate shield,” said FMPD cops Steven Gruber.

Therefore, to protect the minds and badges of police officers, FMPD Police has created a peer support program.

“It’s easier to go to someone you know, who always sees, laughs, jokes, than someone you’ve never met,” Gruber explained.

Executive Brittany Johnson is part of that peer support group, saying, “Keeping your mental health in good shape is better because you have to make momentary decisions when you are in this position at law enforcement. It just helps you make decisions. “

When police officers deal with tough phone calls and problems at home, they can talk confidentially with designated police officers.

And because they do the same job, they have a deeper understanding than others.

In 2003, Gruber crashed tragically with a fellow police officer. “Unfortunately, I was involved in a fatal accident with Officer Dan Starks.”

In 2018, when Johnson was shot dead three years ago, he rushed FMPD officer Adam Jobas Miller to the hospital in his police car.

She said. “I didn’t really talk to anyone. I didn’t open. I didn’t say anything. It didn’t really affect me later.”

I asked Johnson if it would be comfortable to talk to others once he sank. “Number. No, I still can’t feel such feelings. I know I’m a police officer, so I can’t feel this feeling. I need to keep my face straight. You have to be strong for others, “she explained.

Inspector General Donald Oswald didn’t want other police officers to feel that way. He created this program last year when a law was passed that allowed first responders and their fellow support groups to have secret conversations.

“I think there is still stigma for mental health,” Oswald said. “Frankly, I think we in law enforcement tend to recognize ourselves as strong individuals and shouldn’t be disturbed by emotions, but that said, we are all. that’s right.”

“I think it’s important to know that you can talk to someone in this part, they don’t hide behind you and talk to others,” Johnson said, along with a secret support group.

By helping them get the help they need, they can continue to protect and serve.

FMPD officers create a mental health support program for their comrades

Source link FMPD officers create a mental health support program for their comrades

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