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Are Police Resilient?

WithStephanie M. Conn

Some of the discussions about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues in first responder’s work have been framed in a way that makes them sound as if it is inevitable that police administrators will develop them. The majority of first responders do not develop PTSD or other mental health disorders. This holds true even after recognizing that mental health issues are underreported in policing. With regard to mental health training and debriefings offered by police organizations, don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. These practices are helpful to many officers by empowering them with information that normalizes their responses and connects them to resources if they decide they need them. The truth of the matter is that police are actually quite resilient. Statistically, police officers are on par with or, in some instances, slightly above the general population in terms of rates of mental health issues.