The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) featured the above named article in the 2021 Winter edition of their Campus Law Enforcement Journal. The action plan described in the article is consistent with recommendations from the National Consortium on Law Enforcement Suicide: Final Report, published October 1, 2020. 'Unspoken Questions' refers to the reluctance to and/or avoidance of asking direct and specific questions, due to concerns of stigma and negative occupational impact, that can occur when a law enforcement employee experiences a personal mental health issue. Despite being generally aware of available mental health services, skeptical perceptions exist regarding accessing mental health care. For the agency, this skepticism contributes to the suspicion of intent and general distrust among employees. Consequently, the specific and direct questions may never get asked and remain 'Unspoken Questions'. The worst case outcome is death by suicide or ‘loss of a whole life’. Another tragic result is that an employee may continue to experience the pain and despair of unresolved mental health issues, ‘the loss of a partial life’. This bold action plan challenges agency leadership to demonstrate organizational commitment by endorsing two separate transparent trainings that call for the integration of command staff and designated human resources representatives in the actual training in order to provide a forum for employees and give a voice to those 'Unspoken Questions'.
Upon completion, participants will be able to
Be instrumental in leading an agency-wide culture committed to promoting physical and mental health and wellness.
Play a critical role in the agency's transparent integrated approach to ensure that suicide prevention is prioritized and that norms and practices that support mental health and wellness are integrated into every aspect of policing.
Be more capable to support efforts to reduce law enforcement deaths by suicide and eliminate the stigma associated with law enforcement personnel who experience mental health issues.