Chicago: Police union wellness center wants to stop rising police suicide rate


by Zeta Cross
center square

(Centre Square) – Chicago police have a higher suicide rate than any other big city, with seven CPD officers dying by suicide last year.that is Exceed 2020 and 2021 combined.

Today, the Knights of the Police Fraternity, the union representing Chicago’s frontline police officers, has options for members.

The group purchased part of a building at 1412 West Washington, First Responders Wellness Centeris a clinic run by former first responders who are mental health professionals.

“It’s prevention,” Dr. Carrie Steiner, a psychologist and former police officer who works at a wellness center, told Center Square. “We want to see how they are doing. They will meet us and look around. can be extended.”

Most officers develop game faces. Steiner said it’s hard for people to know that police officers are in trouble.

“If the ‘no more, buttercup’ attitude worked, we wouldn’t have high suicide rates, high alcoholism rates and high divorce rates,” Steiner said.

She wants the police to come to her for advice, even if it’s just a matter of daily life.

“If something happens to the child, we want one or two visits if necessary,” Steiner said. Luckily, Chicago police have good health insurance and mental health coverage, she said.

Mental health is just as important as physical health, Steiner said.

“I often say, ‘If you get shot, do you go to the doctor?’ People say, ‘Of course.’ Well, when police officers are involved in serious incidents, they should be examined by a psychologist,” Steiner said.

She says the hustle and bustle of life can wear you down. Steiner said that when a job involves murder or trauma, it’s hard on anyone.

Shift work and demands as an emergency responder make it difficult to get enough rest, Steiner said.

“Lack of sleep correlates with suicide,” she said, adding that 60% of police officers have sleep apnea or other sleep disorders.

When Steiner was with the Chicago Police Department, she often worked from 4:00 p.m. to midnight.

“If the arrest is delayed and the officers have to wait for the indictment to be approved, or if there is a lot of evidence to take inventory, it could take until after 2am. still have to show up at 9 a.m., but they can be severely sleep-deprived and make the world look darker than it really is,” she said.

Steiner says talking to officers about the importance of “self-care” is a little easier now than it was in 2010, when he started practicing. But the message that the need for sleep should be taken seriously remains elusive for police officers.

“It’s not just a joke,” she tells them. “When people make an effort to take better care of themselves, they feel much better and are able to cope with more stressors.”

Loved ones can look for red flags. A lack of interest in things, or a lack of engagement with people or things that interest you, is an indication that something might be wrong, Steiner said.

“Maybe they say, ‘It doesn’t matter if I’m here or not’ … Maybe they take a little more risk in their work … Or maybe they don’t shine their shoes as much. ‘ she says.

Steiner advises not to take for granted that all is well and to ask questions.

“People say all kinds of things, so we don’t want to jump the gun, but at the same time, look for what else is going on,” she advised.

Beware of despair. Desperation is a warning signal for suicide.

“When someone says ‘divorce and that’s it’. My life is over.’ That’s a really bad sign,” Steiner said.

Cops may be convinced they have no future, she said.

“People who are thinking of going to therapy should go to therapy,” Steiner said.

“It’s much better than ending up getting divorced, driving drunk, and even developing depression,” she said.


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Written by Natalia Chi

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