Ewa K. Zielinska, University of New Haven
Despite multiple national initiatives, the suicide rate among police officers remains constant and higher than line of duty deaths. Recent research identifies mindfulness techniques as an effective way to improve mental health, including the risk factors of depression and suicide. While a significant portion of resources and funding are allocated to ensure the safety and physical fitness of officers, including firearms training and physical fitness programs, there is a limited number of holistic programs that ensure officers’ mental health wellness. Based on current research and pioneer initiatives, this document explores the following question: What role can mindfulness practices play in reducing the risk of suicide among police officers? The document concludes with recommendations for law enforcement agencies, including implementation of evidence-based mindfulness practices and cultivation a pro-wellness work etiquette.
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