Law Enforcement hosts workshop focused on Mental Health

Published: Jul. 17, 2023 at 10:43 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - What happens when law enforcement officers need help? The Ward 3 Marshal’s Office held a workshop today about the importance of mental health for law enforcement officers.

“Their mental health is much more important than our mental health in lots of respects because they are that thin blue line; they are walking the line between order and chaos in their society, so if they’re walking their own personal line on mental health, they can’t serve our community,” said LCPS Dawn-Petrice Youngs.

Marshal Nathan Keller’s daughter is a counselor. She recently asked the Marshal how does law enforcement get help when it comes to mental health.

“Well, Daddy, who helps the law enforcement?’; I’m like, ‘well, what do you mean?’” said Ward 3 Marshal Nathan Keller. “She said ‘who do you all get help from’ and I say, well, you know, as the dad and as a law enforcement officer, we the police, we not supposed to need help, we supposed to be the ones that’s helping everybody.”

In 2022, there were 32 suicides and 9 attempted suicides by current or former law enforcement officers, according to the Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection.

“I am absolutely guilty of being the one that said I don’t need your help, I can do this on my own, I’m big, I’m strong, I’m tough, I don’t need this,” said Matt Youngs. “At some point, you have to understand it, it’s ok. to be vulnerable, it’s ok to show weakness, it’s ok to ask for help.”

“Asking for help makes you human; it’s not a badge of honor to be stoic and strong and courageous and not ask for help,” said Dawn-Petrice Youngs. “It takes more courage and strength to ask for help.”

“With mental health, there’s a negative stigma attached to it, just in general, because when people hear the word mental and health they automatically assume it’s a problem; I don’t need help,” said counselor Brittany Thompson.

“We too need help and we’re getting it internally, we’re providing the resources to hopefully, somewhere when we see that one of our people needs help, we can recognize some of those signs and provide them with the help they need,” said Keller.