The United States Department of Justice is reportedly going to begin collecting data on police officer suicides, and will provide grants to state and local law enforcement agencies to improve mental health services, train to reduce the stigma of officers seeking help, and create programs to address repeated exposure to stress and trauma.
According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, Senator Jeanne Shaheen reportedly added $5 million to an appropriations bill for the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act.
Blue H.E.L.P. has been tracking such data since 2016. The DOJ's effort will be entirely separate from that effort.
Blue H.E.L.P. issued a statement earlier this year that said 228 police officer suicides were reported in 2019. There were 172 suicides reported in 2018, 168 in 2017, and 143 in 2016.
Editor's Note: If you or someone you know has ideation of suicide or is approaching crisis, please know that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress. Safe Call Now (1-206-459-3020) offers those services specifically for first responders.
On a website maintained by BlueH.E.L.P.—an organization that tracks officer suicides while simultaneously seeking to prevent such tragedies from occurring—a first responder need only enter a few data points—such as their location and what kind of assistance is needed—and the individual will be provided with a list of options for help from a searchable database dedicated to helping first responders find emotional, financial, spiritual, and other forms of assistance.