Officer wellness app sees usage, Vestal Police Captain says
VESTAL (WBNG) -- Law enforcement can be a stressful career leading to anxiety and depression and in some cases, suicide.
“In the last several years there’s really been an uptick in police suicides,” Vestal Police Captain Christopher Streno told 12 News Friday.
In an effort to combat this growing problem the Vestal Police Department offered its officers a wellness app; The app offers a variety of resources on a range of topics regarding mental health and wellbeing. An officer or family member can get assistance with topics like sleep habits, diet and more.
Captain Streno told 12 News the app is being put to good use by the department’s officers.
He believes mental health is an important topic that should be discussed.
“We’re seeing police officers die from suicide more often than we are from other incidents,” he told 12 News. " It is a stigma that needs to be broken down, and if you care enough about your employees you want to offer them any sort of assistance or resources you can.”
Another website you can visit here is BlueHelp; this website shows suicide statistics for first responders including EMS, Firefighters and law enforcement personnel.
On the website, you are able to narrow down the statistics by the state where you can see the ratings from 2017 up to 2022. There you can narrow it further by seeing suicide rates by race, gender and profession.
The site also offers training and resources as its mission is to reduce the mental health stigma through education and raising awareness.
Captain Streno told 12 News the wellness app is continuously updated with new content allowing the officers to continue learning new ways to improve their mental health and well-being.