By Tim Hardiman
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental-health conditions were first recognized decades ago in returning war veterans, but only recently have we begun to address their impacts on law enforcement officers at home. It is time to have an open a dialogue about stress and trauma to improve law officers’ quality of life and their ability to serve the public.
To help further this conversation, American Military University, in collaboration with PoliceOne, created a free online magazine for law enforcement officers.
In these pages we start with a series of articles that raise awareness about stress and PTSD in policing. This is followed by a second series of articles that discuss various tactics to control stress and increase officer resiliency.
It is important to note that we are not trying to eliminate all forms of stress. Stress is an inherent and necessary part of life, especially in policing. When stress affects us for a short period of time, it helps drive us to perform at our best. Only when stress is chronic and untreated does it present the dangers we now recognize.
It is our hope that the information collected here may provide your first steps towards seeking help for a colleague, friend, family member, or indeed yourself.