The Rochester (MN) Police Department is launching a wellness program next year to give officers the tools to deal with job stress and traumatic calls.

“We live in a culture where asking for help is frowned upon,” said Capt. Jeff Stilwell of the Rochester Police Dept. “Years of history, if you’re hurting in some way, rub a little dirt on it and move on. We’re realizing that’s leading to a lot of bad outcomes not only for the officers and their families but also the level of service we’re providing to the community.”

Suicide claims more officers’ lives each year than violence in the line of duty, highlighting the problem of untreated mental health issues. The suicide rate among police officers is about 16 per 100,000, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Rochester Police Dept. is hoping to change that with the wellness program which will take a holistic approach to mind, body, and spirit, by providing mental health support, physical training, and community engagement opportunities, KTTC reports.

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