WAYNE, Pa. (November 4, 2014)- More law enforcement officers die by suicide than by traffic accidents or assault. Exposure to violence, depression, anxiety, substance use disorder and poor physical health, among other risk factors, all contribute to this heightened risk for suicide.
In recognition of this urgent public health issue, Polaris Health Directions has partnered with four other Philadelphia area companies to develop an application for law enforcement who may be struggling with emotional and behavioral health, including contemplating suicide. The project is in collaboration with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).
The first generation of the application debuted during last month’s annual IACP conference. At its core is the documentary, BLUE, which spotlights the mental health struggles and suicide epidemic within the law enforcement community.
Along with the film, the app includes a self-assessment for mental and behavioral health that triggers supportive, tailored messaging. The assessment, developed by Polaris, is completely confidential and reflects the company’s commitment to practical science.
The third component are the findings from a five-year IACP study on police suicide, along with best practices to help police departments manage the mental health of their personnel.
As part of a technology-enabled system, the app can be easily integrated into training programs for police departments working to break through the stigmas that hamper efforts to deliver mental health and suicide prevention programs.
“Driving this project from concept to reality was a desire to give back to the men and woman that dedicate their lives to keep us safe,” said Mark A. Anthony, CEO of Polaris. “With BLUE, we hope police officers will know they aren’t alone and that what they may be experiencing is a normal human reaction to their work environment.”
Additional tools and resources will be developed as the project progresses to support the creation of an interactive community of law enforcement officers focused on sustaining the emotional well-being of the nation’s police force.
For more information, please visit http://tridiuum.com/blue/ or http://www.theiacp.org/Preventing-law-Enforcement-officer-suicide or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.