Survey: Cops avoid mental health assistance despite suicidal thoughts

Nearly 20 percent of police officers nationwide have considered suicide, yet 90 percent said they are unlikely to seek mental health treatment. It’s an alarming trend uncovered by an NBC I-Team survey.

Police Protective League Director Steve Gordon says that because of the repetitive stress that officers go through, they often start to break down mentally with symptoms similar to post traumatic stress syndrome. He is urging officers to seek help from mental health professionals.

“When you’re in the constant state of seeing death and despair all the time, it’s almost like you’re injuring your brain.  You’re polluting your brain. We just want them to go out and, hey, fix it.  Go talk to people, get it off your chest. Vent a little.”

The NBC-4 I-Team report found 76 percent of the officers surveyed said they were worried that if they asked for mental health assistance they could be fired and 85 percent expressed concerns about being seen as weak or unfit for duty.

Steve Gordon was a guest on the KABC Morning Show.

By Sandy Wells

KABC News