August 10, 2022
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Grant to help provide mental health resources for Statesboro officers

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STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) – Police officers in Statesboro will soon have valuable mental health training available.

In 2021, more than 600 police officers died nationwide. Suicide accounted for roughly one fourth of those deaths.

Statesboro’s police chief equated this training as the mental health version of first aid – maybe in CPR – something for quick response to deal with problems before they become worse.

Dealing with life-and-death issues on a regular basis can affect police officers over time and lead some to leave the field and lead others to take their own life. Tuesday, Statesboro contracted with Georgia Southern to use federal grant money for a program to train officers in the department to spot problems and help coworkers deal with them. While officers may have mental health professionals at their disposal, they often let the resources go unused.

“There is a stigma around the whole mental health issue. No one wants to admit that they’re having a mental health crisis or problem,” Statesboro Police Chief Mike Broadhead said.

Earlier this year, WTOC showed you professors working with police to prevent physical injuries on the job. This training could help with internal, mental injuries.

“When you have peers – colleagues, individuals, within the department and you already have that connection and trust – you give them the skills so they can come alongside,” Georgia Southern professor Dr. Richard Cleveland said.

Chief Broadhead says the program would also help officer families understand the challenges and how to spot issues at home, all designed to keep officers healthy – inside and out.

City of Statesboro and Georgia Southern are working through the paperwork and for the grant money to officially arrive. But they hope to get this training started as soon as possible.

Copyright 2022 WTOC. All rights reserved.



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