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The Badge of Life Psychological Survival for Police Officers Program.
Int J Emerg Ment Health. 2010;12(2):95-101
Publication Type
Richard L Levenson
Andrew F O'Hara
Ron Clark
Author Affiliation
The Badge of Life Psychological Survival for Police Officers Program, Kingston, NY, USA.
Int J Emerg Ment Health. 2010;12(2):95-101
Publication Type
Peer Group
Primary Prevention
Program Development
Secondary Prevention
Social Support
Stress, Psychological
Suicide - prevention & control
United States
Worldwide, there is no more consistently stressful job than that of the police officer. In the United States, police officers are more likely to die by suicide than by any type of criminal or criminal activity. This article discusses the Badge of Life Psychological Survival for Police Officers Program (BOL), founded in 2008, with the goal of developing an effective police officer suicide primary and secondary prevention program. Such a program is not a regular entity within the majority of accredited law enforcement agencies. Along with standard suicide prevention protocols typically used in other programs, an Emotional Self-Care Program (ESC) was designed to focus on the officer's ability and responsibility to care for his own emotional well-being. The model relies on teaching the factor of resilience as a significant component of stress-resistance (Everly, Welzant, & Jacobson, 2008). Selected for their credibility and trust level, peer support officers conduct the actual annual training workshops, set the example, and encourage involvement at all levels. A "cradle-to-the-grave" program (i.e., rookies to retirees), ESC calls upon departments to begin teaching their personnel about the effects of job-related stress and trauma while they are still in the academy, emphasizing the importance of voluntary, confidential "annual mental health checks." Representatives of BOL now lecture regularly across the United States and Canada. All consultations, lectures, educational and training workshops, services, and referrals are free, as are original training materials developed and approved by the BOL Board of Directors.
PubMed ID
21138153 View in PubMed
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