Did you know that police officers are more than twice as likely to die by suicide than homicide? One hundred and forty police officers died by suicide in 2017 alone. The Boone County Sheriff’s Office is committed to doing our part to meet the mental and emotional needs of our deputies and staff members.
Our Standard Operating Guidelines (SOGs) were updated in 2017 to include specific protocol to provide the highest level of emotional support and education possible. In addition, BCSO hired a mental health consultant to oversee the development of our officer wellness program. This program includes the creation of our first ever Peer Support Team. This is a team of staff members trained to serve as the first level of support when a deputy or staff member may be struggling emotionally.
As an additional part of our officer wellness program, in January of 2018, BCSO contracted with Pathways To Healing Counseling in Noblesville, Indiana to provide individual therapy and mental wellness training to our employees. The therapists at Pathways to Healing are all EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) trained and offer top-level trauma therapy. Little did we know how imperative our officer wellness program would be as we faced the loss of one of our own in March of 2018.
When Deputy Jacob Pickett was killed in the line of duty, our entire department was shaken. Not only did we lose an amazing deputy, we lost a good friend. Knowing the toll grief and loss can take on a person, we were determined to ensure that, to the best of our ability, our staff would have access to the best support we could offer. With the generous financial support of the Boone County Council, we are able to offer our staff members free individual therapy sessions through Pathways To Healing. Spouses of our staff members are also encouraged to seek therapy as needed through Pathways at a discounted rate.
We refuse to let the stigma associated with mental health in law enforcement cause our deputies and staff members to believe they must suffer in silence alone. We will do whatever we can to ensure that none of our own becomes a statistic as we battle against officer suicide. We WILL break the silence. We WILL stop the stigma.
Rachel L. Hall MS, LMHC
Mental Health Consultant
Boone County Sheriff's Office
1905 Indianapolis Ave
Lebanon, IN 46052
Monday - Friday
8am - 4pm