Showing posts with label Police and PTSD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Police and PTSD. Show all posts

Friday, September 1, 2023

Worcester Police Officer-Disabled Veteran fired for what service did to him

Disabled Military Veteran Fired by Worcester Police

This Week In Worcester
By Tom Marino
August 20, 2023
Documentation from the VA indicates Condo told its staff that while in Afghanistan, he was assigned a tent near a Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) unit at a base that experienced significant attacks where soldiers were killed. Public records show an attack at Bagram Air Force Base led to five casualties there on July 8, 2014, while records show Condo was stationed there. Documentation from the VA indicates Condo told its staff that while in Afghanistan, he was assigned a tent near a Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) unit at a base that experienced significant attacks where soldiers were killed. Public records show an attack at Bagram Air Force Base led to five casualties there on July 8, 2014, while records show Condo was stationed there.
Jerry Condo served as a Worcester Police officer for 14 years and is a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force National Guard with a combat tour in Afghanistan. During his time with the Worcester Police Department, he was never the subject of a citizen complaint. He was the subject of two investigations by the Bureau of Professional Services (BOPS), the internal affairs unit that investigates officer wrongdoing inside the Worcester Police Department, for alcohol-related incidents in 2017 and 2018. Both investigations were sustained. Termination was recommended.

Prior to Condo’s termination, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) designated Condo as a disabled veteran due to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in connection with military service. Despite documentation from the VA that Condo was engaging in treatment for both PTSD and alcohol abuse consistently throughout 2018, then City Manager Ed Augustus signed a letter terminating the employment of this disabled veteran on Dec. 14, 2018.
read more here

HOLD ONTO YOUR TEMPER AS YOU READ THE REST OF THIS. They recognized what service does a couple of months later.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Courageously Broken

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 2, 2022

I don't have as much time as I used to have to post here, but I still track the news on PTSD. Working on the books has consumed whatever extra time I've had. You'd think that after 4 decades, I'd be able to just retire and enjoy the rest of my life, but at this point, it is so much a part of my DNA, I doubt that will ever happen. There is just too much suffering out there and not enough people to change the outcome.

This morning, I was happy to discover someone out there was so determined to #BreakTheSilence that she was one of the news reports I read this morning.
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – DA Michaels’ one-woman push to help military veterans and first responders dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is built on a tragedy that nearly sent her “down the rabbit hole.” (Click Orlando)

When I read the interview, I could feel my blood pressure boiling seeing that damn number of "22" and right away, I thought it would be just one more person getting attention for the wrong reason. I slammed my hand down on the desk, got another cup of coffee, prepared to walk away from the article repulsed, and just move on to the next report. Soon I discovered that was the only part that bothered me.

D.A. Michaels is a Navy veteran and police veteran, and she's a woman! I took a look at the beginning of the book and knew that this one was of value. When you watch the video below, she also links what happened to her in her personal life while addressing what she survived in her professional life. If you ever doubted the fact that PTSD strikes survivors, no matter what the event is, this should remove all doubt and God willing, get the stigma out of the way with it!

"A young idealistic teen leaves a small town and abusive father behind to join the Navy in a refreshingly down to earth memoir of one woman's journey to self discovery. She embraces life with passion and courage, from training and partying with Navy SEALs to skydiving and joining the police force, but when tragic events while serving her country lead to years of nightmares, depression and PTSD, she must learn to navigate life through the heartache and tears until the laughter and love return.

Friday, June 4, 2021

"And I could hear them,"

subject:Capitol Crimes

If a man walks naked down a city street, do police officers just let him go because he said he believed he had clothes on? No, they arrest him for committing a crime.

If someone comes to your house and demands you leave, because they said they believe they own your house, do you pack up and go? No, they get arrested for committing a crime.

Just because a President could not admit he lost the election, the US Capitol was attacked. All it took was for him to say he believed and he was believed. No proof, no facts, the courts and recounts proved the count to be valid and he did lose, but no matter what, all his supporters needed to hear was what he said he believed.

It does not matter what the criminals believed they were doing when they committed crimes against this country. It matters they did it because a man said he believed he was still the president. When the majority of the Senators voted for an investigation into what happened and who did it, but the minority said they didn't care, it says more about them, than the criminals who did it.

'I thought I was going to lose my life': Capitol Police officers share their harrowing January 6 stories for the first time

By Whitney Wild and Jeremy Herb, CNN
June 3, 2021

Washington (CNN)US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell was beaten with a flagpole. His hand was sliced open. He was hit with so much chemical spray that the liquid soaked through to his skin. During intense hand-to-hand combat with rioters on the west front of the US Capitol on January 6, there were moments where Gonell thought he might die.

"They called us traitors. They beat us. They dragged us," Gonell told CNN, in his first interview about the violence he experienced and witnessed on January 6. "And I could hear them, 'We're going to shoot you. We're going to kill you. You're choosing your paycheck over the country. You're a disgrace. You're a traitor.'"

Several hundred feet away that same day, US Capitol Police Officer Byron Evans was inside the locked Senate chamber with 100 senators and Vice President Mike Pence, hand on his weapon and mentally preparing for a life-or-death situation to come through the doors. read more here

The Capitol Police Officers still do their jobs for the same people who supported the criminals more than those who defended them with their own lives. They heard the criminal voices and saw what they did to the Capitol. They still hear their voices echoed in their nightmares and in the halls with their flashbacks. This goes far beyond what was done. The wounds are being cut deeper because some members of the House and Senate are defending criminals and the man who said he believed he won what he lost.

They have no idea when it will happen again. They are only sure it can happen because a fraction of the people still believe the criminals lying to them. The only way to provide any kind of justice is to investigate the facts. Finding every criminal trying to take over the country that horrible day is the only way to heal this nation.

There are members of the military and veterans who are being arrested and charged for participating in this. Some cannot understand how they could do such a thing after serving this country. The fact is, some of them should have never been allowed into the military. We tend to see all of them as honorable and joining for the right reasons. The truth is, a small number of them join to kill and blow things up. It is easier to understand how "Protecting and Defending the Constitution" had nothing to do with their service, when we look at the facts and hear what they say they believe.

1 in 10 defendants from US Capitol insurrection have military ties

(CNN) One in 10 people charged in the US Capitol insurrection are veterans or current servicemembers, according to a CNN review of court documents and Pentagon records.

At least 45 of the approximately 450 overall defendants have ties to the US military, according to the CNN review. The bulk of these 45 defendants are veterans, but a handful are still serving, including an active duty Marine Corps officer from Virginia who was arrested earlier this month.

A quarter of the defendants with military ties are also connected to right-wing extremist groups, like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. These groups had a big presence at the January 6 riot, and they've attracted significant attention from federal prosecutors investigating the attack and from Pentagon officials who are coming to grips with the problem of extremism in the military.

What does all of this say to the good members of the service who joined for the right reasons? What kind of message are they getting from their leaders?

What does this say to any veteran or current member of the military with PTSD? When so many members of the House and Senate want to give all the perpetrators protection leaving the other members of the House and Senate vulnerable to it happening again? When do they get to feel safe doing the jobs they were elected to do? When do the Capitol Police Officers get to feel as if their service and risking their lives actually matter to those they protect?

Those questions will only be answered when there is accountability and everyone involved are held accountable. Otherwise just saying you believe something is true makes everyone else suffer for the delusion.

Friday, April 10, 2020

PTSD: If the leaders have not managed to take care of their it yourself!

Stop waiting for someone else to do it!

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 10, 2020

Over and over again we read about responders not getting the mental health help they desperately need. After over 4 decades of research into what PTSD does, if the leaders have not managed to take care of their it yourself!

Stop waiting for someone else to begin taking care of you and the people you risk your life with. If they are still so ignorant they have not managed to provide you with the proper support, do it for each other. After all, peer support is what works best. It can only work if you learn all you can to be able to respond with facts, as well as encouragement.

The longer you wait, the more will die by their own hands because of what their jobs did to them!

You already their trust, because they trust you with their lives, as you trust them with yours.

Open your mouth if you think someone you know is struggling instead of fearing how they will judge you. If you still fear talking about PTSD, then that is your problem and you need to overcome it. Learn what it is and why you have it and then you will see that it is a price you are paying for surviving what you lived through.

Start helping each other heal! Contact me if you have questions 407-754-7526

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

U.S. Marine veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, and as police officer committed suicide in lobby

When a veteran commits suicide at a VA, it is a scream for help for others before it is too late for them. When a police officer does it at the station, it is for the same reason. So when exactly do we allow that scream to motivate us to actually do something?

Former Euclid Police officer commits suicide in department's lobby

News Herald
Staff report
Mar 23, 2020
Gauntner was a decorated police officer and is a U.S. Marine veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. He had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, according to a previous News-Herald article.
Todd Gauntner a former Euclid Police officer, committed suicide March 23 in the department's lobby. In 2019, Gauntner, left, was sentenced to five days in jail for brandishing a gun at two men during a 2018 bar fight in Willoughby. News-Herald file

Former Euclid Police Officer Todd Gauntner came to the Euclid Police Department lobby at 3 a.m., March 23, and committed suicide, the department announced in a news release.

He made no attempt to hurt anyone other than himself and no one else was injured, the release stated.
read it here

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Retired Mountie speaking out to change the PTSD conversation

A veteran Mountie shares his struggles with PTSD, hoping it will encourage others to seek help

Vancouver Sun
Lori Culbert
March 14, 2020
There were 25 documented RCMP suicides between January 2014 and December 2019, involving 15 active members and 10 retirees, Brien said. Postmedia has reported that between 2006 and 2014, there were 31 suicides by serving or retired Mounties.

It was a warm Sunday evening in April 1979 when John Buis, a 25-year-old Mountie with two years on the job, pulled over a dilapidated Lincoln Continental with Texas plates that had been speeding on Kingsway Avenue in Burnaby.

He radioed in the licence plate number, but it was 8:30 p.m. on a Sunday night and the computer system was slow, so no information was immediately available. Buis and his partner Jack Robinson called for backup before checking the identification of the seven people who spilled out of the messy, dirty car stopped near Imperial Avenue.

After Const. Merv Korolek responded to the scene, the three officers searched the car. They made some disturbing finds among the discarded food wrappers and other garbage: ammunition and a rifle scope in the back seat, and a sawed-off rifle in a plastic bag in the trunk.
He sought help at Vancouver’s Operational Stress Injury Clinic, which caters to police and soldiers, and from there attended a nine-week residential treatment program in Saanich.

He is speaking out today to encourage a larger conversation about mental health among first responders, who are often hesitant to ask for help.
read it here

Thursday, February 20, 2020

What do we receive in return for our time than to see a veteran's life change from hopelessness to healing?

Faith In Healing PTSD Hardly New

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 20, 2020

The recent news about the Department of Veterans Affairs joining forces with faith based groups is something wonderful, yet troubling at the same time.

While more and more groups have been popping up all over the country for over a decade, we have been wondering if any of them noticed what others had already begun long before these new leaders heard the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Wondering what else did they miss?

It is obvious they missed a group dedicated to delivering the awesome power of healing through peer support based on someone else who knew what it was like to be willing to sacrifice His life for the sake of others...Jesus.

If even the Son of God asked for help, there should be no stigma associated with needing your peers to help you. After all, none of you looked down on those you were sent to help. If you were willing to die for their sake, as well as the sake of those you served with, turning to them for your own sake makes sense.

So why is it that the stigma lives on, as strong as ever, while you were brave enough to serve, are afraid to communicate with those you served with?

Point Man International Ministries has been clearing the road to #TakeBackYourLife since 1984 because a Vietnam veteran knew the price he paid for his service in Vietnam, as well as, the price he was willing to pay as a police officer in Seattle Washington.

Leaders in Point Man have been working with the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals all over the country for years because it works. Yet, much like the 72 Jesus sent to care for others, no one knows their names.
Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
Luke 10:1-2 New International Version (NIV)
They did not want to glorify themselves, they just wanted to freely share what they had been given by Jesus. It did not matter that no one knew their names, but it was they joy they received in doing the work they were sent to do that mattered the most.
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
We live with that joy everyday! There is nothing to compare to what we receive in return for our time than to see a veteran's life change from hopelessness to healing! To see you go from feeling abandoned by God, to knowing you are loved!

New Veterans Affairs rule helps religious organizations provide quality services

Washington Times
By Mike Berry
February 19, 2020
Illustration on veterans and suicide by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

America faces a crisis of epidemic proportions. The number of Americans who take their own lives by suicide each day is staggering and sobering. Even one suicide is heartbreaking; a recent study estimated that 135 surviving people are affected by each suicide.

The latest data show that 17 veterans tragically take their own lives each day, and the rate shows no sign of slowing. Veterans comprise only 7.9 percent of the U.S. population, yet account for 13.5 percent of all suicides.

Americans know something has to be done to help the men and women who have selflessly served our nation, often resulting in terrible, unseen wounds. Thankfully, some Americans have answered the call to help those “who have borne the battle.”
read it here

Saturday, February 15, 2020

After almost being fired, Orlando Police Officer with PTSD to receive pension

Officer who suffered PTSD after Pulse massacre granted retirement, pension

Orlando Sentinel
FEB 13, 2020
Clarke was nearly fired from OPD in November as she awaited the pension board’s decision, because her application had been pending for 180 days, the time limit set by the agency’s union contract for officers to either win their pension or face termination.
Orlando police department Officer Alison Clarke is embraced by Christine Gogicos while visiting the memorial outside the Pulse Nightclub on the one-year anniversary of the shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2017. (SCOTT AUDETTE/Reuters)
Police pension board members voted unanimously Thursday to grant disability retirement and a lifelong pension to Orlando police Officer Alison Clarke, who developed post-traumatic stress disorder following the Pulse massacre.

Clarke cried as she embraced her wife and friends after the hearing. Clarke’s wife, fellow OPD officer Kate Graumann, let out a deep breath as tears welled in her eyes after the vote.

“Now I feel like I’ve come to a conclusion and I can start moving on with the next chapter of my life,” Clarke said after the hearing.
She went to counseling for her symptoms and continued working.

But her condition worsened after the January 2017 death of OPD Lt. Debra Clayton, who was shot and killed outside of a Walmart near College Park, Bouchard said. Clarke responded to the scene, where she “witnessed her colleague and friend mortally wounded,” Bouchard said.
read it here

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Are you are judging them without giving them a chance to help you #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

To protect and serve should include yourself

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 23, 2020

The only way I could understand what PTSD was doing to my Vietnam veteran husband, was because I knew what surviving trauma had done to me.

I am a ten time survivor of traumatic events that could have taken my life just living as a civilian. Most of the time, someone like you responded to rescue me. Knowing what surviving did to me, it is also easy to understand what responding to people like me...did to you.

I had nightmares, flashbacks, mood swings, paranoia and questioned everything I believed. I understood the need to hide what I was going through, so that no one would feel sorry for me, or judge me as being damaged.

On the flip side, my family understood that they needed to show me that no matter what, they loved me and they were there for me, no matter what I had to say, and they wanted to help me through it.

They did not give up on me. One of the reasons why I was not about to give up on my husband, or anyone else. It is also the reason why I am writing this now. You need to stop giving up on yourself!

If you are dealing with PTSD, then you need to stop looking at yourself as a victim. You are a survivor of all of it. Within the first 30 days after "it" happened, your mind was fighting it off.

In all of the times I faced the "afterwards" there was only one time, it followed me, but did not control me. That is because I fought back, helping my mind by arming it with talking about it. When I needed a professional to talk to, I went.

I also trusted God and stopped questioning why I survived. It became a matter of what I could do afterwards...for the rest of my days on earth.
In The Shelter of Your Arms is a song that has been healing for me during hard emotional right now. No matter what I am up against, I know this is the work I was sent to do and the glory goes to Jesus because He loved me enough to show me the way to help those who have my heart. This is for anyone who is going through painful times. It is OK to feel pain, no matter who you are, but take the shelter of His arms until your pain in gone and you smile again. So now I sing a song for You beyond the tears that came because I know, if I share this with those I am supposed to reach, they may know that others go through the same dark times, even if they believe, as I do, that nothing is beyond Your love. RISE AND START AGAIN

It is OK to hurt to feel pain, to cry and to lose yourself for a time. Survivors never walk away the same way they walked into it. Everyone changes to a certain extent, but you control the way you change and how much you change from one point to the next.

You would think that I would not need help from anyone considering how long I have been doing this work, but everyone I know, also needs help from time to time or they would not be able to be there to help anyone else. Besides, if I needed help but refused to ask for it, how could I ever tell someone else to ask when they needed it? I couldn't.

If you think that it is hopeless for you, then it will be, but if you imagine what is possible, you will find it and rise again!

Back in 2002 I finished writing my first book and last year I did an interview with a friend for his radio show. No matter what we went through, keep in mind that we have been married since 1984 because while we did not understand what the other survived, we understood how to lean on each other to heal!
This is part of the interview of us talking about my book FOR THE LOVE OF JACK and what it was like living with PTSD when no one was talking about it.
Want to know if you have what it takes to fight this battle? Listen to what I was willing to do and know that you can do the same and defeat it! #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

If you are afraid of being judged by those around you, notice that you are judging them without giving them a chance to help you #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

"When you see it on television, that is difficult. It is a lot tougher when you are there."

Connecticut State Police Create Program to Help First Responders Manage PTSD

NBC Connecticut
By Siobhan McGirl
January 22, 2020
Dillon said he will never forget responding to the scene of the school shooting in Sandy Hook in December of 2012. Twenty students and six adults were killed. Dillon spent one week processing evidence on the scene, but he struggled to process the event on a personal level.

The state is taking new measures to help first responders who may be struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"When you see it on television, that is difficult. It is a lot tougher when you are there," said Sgt. Troy Anderson.

Anderson retired from the Connecticut State Police after more than 20 years of service, but he is coming out of retirement. Anderson is filling a newly created position, heading up a wellness and resiliency program. The veteran law enforcement officer will be tasked with creating programs and finding resources to meet the wellness needs of all six divisions of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
read it here

Monday, January 20, 2020

Thunder Bay EMS responders getting more help for PTSD

'We see terrible things': WSIB budgets for Thunder Bay emergency services to increase by $1M

CBC News
Matt Vis
Posted: Jan 20, 2020
"It's really quite a vast array of calls. A lot of it is the unexpected or the unknown. A lot of times a lot of information isn't made available and in some cases it's a shock factor when you get there depending on what you have to deal with. Acting fire chief Greg Hankkio

Thunder Bay police and firefighters respond to a motor vehicle collision. (Heather Kitching/CBC)

Emergency services in Thunder Bay are putting more money aside for Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) claims, particularly related to mental wellness.

The WSIB allocations for the Thunder Bay Police Service, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue and Superior North EMS combine for a $1-million increase in the proposed 2020 city budget.

'We see some terrible things' Leaders of the emergency services leaders identify mental health, and particularly post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as a major reason for the rise.

Superior North EMS chief Wayne Gates said PTSD is having a significant impact.

"We see some terrible things out there," Gates said.
read it here

Monday, January 13, 2020

K-9 officer shared pain of PTSD...and what it was like to find support to heal it

A Regina police officer shares his experience with PTSD

...and how different his life was after he got the help and support he needed!

Const. Derrick Fox, a member of the Regina Police Service's canine unit, talks about his experience with PTSD and how treatment helped him.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Sheriff John Mina sets example of “It’s OK to not be OK"

‘It’s OK to not be OK’: Orange County Sheriff shares experiences with PTSD after rise in law-enforcement suicides

WFTV 9 News
By: Lauren Seabrook and Adam Poulisse
Updated: January 8, 2020
On Monday, Mina uploaded a video on the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page called “It’s OK to not be OK." In it, he shares his own story of dealing with depression and urges fellow law-enforcement officers to seek mental help if they need it. It has already been viewed more than a million times.

On Monday, Mina uploaded a video on the Orange County Sheriff?s Office Facebook page called ?It?s OK to not be OK."

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — One case has stuck with Sheriff John Mina.

“I remember one case that I went to, where an 11-year-old actually pointed me to the closet where her dead mother was,” Mina recalled. “An awful case.”

Dead children. Dead infants. Having to use his firearm to take someone’s life in the line of duty -- “those things will affect you,” Mina said.
Last year, more than 224 officers committed suicide nationwide. In response to the rising numbers, Mina is sharing his own experiences of post-traumatic stress disorder.
read it here

Monday, December 23, 2019

NYPD officer asked for help with PTSD, has to sue to make sure others get it?

NYPD veteran shunned over mental health issues to sue NYPD for $1M

New York Post
By Craig McCarthy
December 22, 2019
“The NYPD has repeatedly shown an ineptitude in dealing with the mental health of their police officers,” Oliveras’ lawyer, John Scola, told The Post. “We hope that this lawsuit will help shed light on those deficiencies and prevent other police officers from having to suffer in the same way as Jonathan.”

A cop who says the NYPD ostracized him for coming forward with mental health issues amid this year’s police-suicide epidemic now plans to sue for $1 million, The Post has learned.
Jonathan Oliveras
Stephen Yang

Twelve-year-veteran officer Jonathan Oliveras exclusively revealed to The Post in October that the brass stripped him of his gun — and bounced him around assignments before stationing him in a post with department screw-ups — after he admitted to NYPD doctors he was on anti-depressants.

His tale of woes even triggered an apology from former top cop James O’Neill and promised to make sure no one else was put through a similar experience.

But that same day, internal affairs showed up at Oliveras’ post to confront his bosses in an apparent effort to jam him up, he previously told The Post.

Now, eight weeks later, the NYPD has yet to reach out to the 40-year-old cop to try and make things right, he says.
read it here

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Denver Police Officer shares story of recovery from PTSD to save others

Police, army veteran opens up about battle with PTSD, mental health struggles

December 10, 2019

Brian Barry is a 36-year veteran of the Denver Police force and army veteran who has used opioids to cope with PTSD. Now, he's sharing his story.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

NYPD Retired Officer Committed Suicide

Retired NYPD sergeant reportedly kills himself amid department's 'mental-health crisis'

FOX News
Nicole Darrah
September 3, 2019
The most recent death was of Robert Echeverria, a 20-year NYPD veteran who killed himself in his Queens home in August. The 56-year-old's death came one day after a police officer from nearby Yonkers also killed himself.
Editor's note: This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).]

A retired New York City police sergeant reportedly killed himself Monday — adding to the growing number of police officers protecting the country's biggest city who have committed suicide this year.

The 48-year-old male officer, who has not been publicly identified, shot himself in the head while sitting in his car in a parking lot on Staten Island, a borough of New York City, the New York Post reported.

While apparently retired, his death follows the deaths of nine NYPD officers who have killed themselves since January — a situation described by Commissioner James O'Neill as a "mental-health crisis."
read it here
#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Police Officers offered help with PTSD in French Quebec?

For English-speaking police in Quebec, access to PTSD services is not a guarantee

CBC News
Jamie Pashagumskum
Aug 26, 2019

La Vigile is a retreat where police, firefighters and first responders can go for extended periods of time for counselling. Bergeron said he's aware of La Vigile, but that it's not accessible to his predominantly English-speaking police force.
Cree officer suffers from PTSD, but the only intensive program for police in province is French-only
Harold Bosum in 2012. Bosum says he quit the Eeyou Eenou Police force in 2013 because PTSD symptoms were putting a strain on his family. (Submitted by Harold Bosum)
It was constable Harold Bosum's second day on the job working in his home town as an officer with the Eeyou Eenou Police (EEPF), the police force that serves the nine Cree communities in Quebec; the end of an uneventful night shift in the small northern town of Ouje-Bougoumou when he was called to a house at 5 a.m.

Bosum requested an ambulance on his way over and, when he arrived, he found a woman dead at home with her young children, who were upset and scared. Bosum gave the woman CPR until first responders arrived.

"It actually only took the ambulance five minutes to get there from the time I called them, but performing CPR on her felt like forever because I knew she was already gone," Bosum recalls.

At the same time, I had to calm the kids."

In 2012, three months after that incident, Bosum sought help and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Bosum would experience a numb feeling down one side of his body and he became irritable and bad tempered at home.

"I would get angry with my family. I couldn't be happy anymore, I couldn't enjoy life," Bosum said.

The EEPF referred Bosum to their 1-800 help line, but he found accessing the line more frustrating than helpful.
read more here

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Mayor Bill de Blasio's broke silence on suicide in his own family

Mayor Draws on Father’s Suicide in Dealing With Spike Among NYPD Officers

The Wall Street Journal
By Katie Honan and Tyler Blint-Welsh
Aug. 15, 2019

Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to stem the spike in suicides among New York Police Department officers this year by speaking openly about his father’s suicide in urging them to seek help.

The mayor talked about his family’s experience in a letter he sent to NYPD officers on Wednesday night, shortly before a longtime officer became the ninth member of the department to die by suicide this year. The 56-year-old officer, who had been with the department for 25 years and served in its Strategic Response Group, fatally shot himself at a home in Laurelton, Queens, according to a police official. His suicide came a day after another officer fatally shot himself in Yonkers.

In his letter, Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, detailed the depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism that his father, a decorated World War II veteran, battled before killing himself. His father, who lost part of his leg during the war, died when Mr. de Blasio was 18 years old. Although his father was always strong physically, the mayor said, it “wasn’t the kind of strength he needed.”

“My dad couldn’t deal with what he had lived through,” he said in the letter.

“I say from experience: There is strength in asking for help—in doing the right thing for you and your family.”
read it here


Saturday, August 10, 2019

OEF OIF veteran lost job as Police Officer because of PTSD Service Dog

Man claims he's being discriminated against because of PTSD and service dog

KMVT 11 News
By Garrett Hottle
Aug 09, 2019
Thompson said his PTSD is the reason he's not a police officer anymore. But that things have recently gotten better, thanks to the addition of his service dog, Ziva. Thompson said he could tell she would make a huge difference in his life, from one of the first times they met.
SHOSHONE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) A military veteran and former police officer in the Magic Valley, believes he's experiencing discrimination in his search for employment because of his service dog.

Former police offer and veteran Michael Thompson explains how his service dog Ziva helps him cope with PTSD. Michael Thompson is a Shoshone resident who previously worked for the Bellevue and Shoshone police departments. Prior to that, he served in the U.S. Military and saw combat during the invasion of Iraq.

"I did the initial invasion for Iraq," Thompson said. "We were the group that was embedded with special forces that jumped into north Iraq and worked our way south."

Thompson has lived in Buhl most of his life and his time in the military was a big change for him, especially going overseas.

"I went from small town kid to a gunner in a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), where we were actually fighting and taking over areas as we worked our way south," Michael said.
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Monday, July 29, 2019

Most obvious answer to stop suicides still being missed

Want to save lives? Get the message right first

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 29, 2019

If you visit this site often, I am sure it has been showing my frustration more and more. Glad that I am not doing a podcast, because holding back words I should not use in public, is getting harder and harder.

I am sick and tired of hearing another head of yet another department make the same mistake of miscommunication out of ignorance.

Another New York Officer committed suicide. He was the fifth since June. This is the message from NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.

“You may not know this, and it may be hard to imagine, but you are not out there all by yourself,” he said. “More people than you know, who wear the same uniform as you do, share the same doubts and fears and struggles that you do. Seeking help is strength. Talking about your problems is strength. Acknowledging you need a place to turn is strength. There is no shame here ― only a promise to provide you with the help and support you need and deserve.”

In a tweet, the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association called the officer’s death “terrible news,” asking for prayers for his friends, family and colleagues.
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The part that they need to hear is that while there are others suffering, they are also still serving. They are still risking their lives to save strangers because lives matter. That includes those they serve with and are willing to die for too.

If they understand what PTSD is, then there is no stigma. If they understand what their job is, then there is no reason to deny they need help. If there is no reason to deny they need help, they will stop killing themselves and start helping each other heal.

 After 37 years, I would like to finally be able to retire. Considering how the most obvious answer to this heartbreaking outcome keeps getting missed, I doubt I ever will be able to.