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Vestal Police take initiative for their officers’ mental health

Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 5:51 PM EDT
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VESTAL (WBNG) -- The Vestal Police Department has launched a private wellness app that will be available for officers and their families.

The department said due to the nature of an officer’s job, they are more susceptible to mental health issues including PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other related problems.

Captain Christopher Streno said law enforcement takes this seriously because, for years, the number of law enforcement suicides has outnumbered the total of officers killed on duty.

“The days of rubbing dirt on it and getting back in the game are over because there are long-term effects,” he told 12 News. “There is a ripple effect of mental health. It can affect the officer’s family, co-workers, and the community in which they serve.”

The app contains a wellness toolkit that addresses 60 behavioral health topics such as alcohol abuse, suicide prevention, nutrition and more.

The department said its goal is to help personnel build resilience and avoid the negative long-term effects of high job-related stress.

The public will also have limited access to the app; They will be able to see accident reports, recent news, the department’s use of force policy and more.