St. Louis County Police helping officers take care of their ment - KMOV.com

St. Louis County Police helping officers take care of their mental health

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

The job of a police officer can take a toll on the person behind the badge.  They know what they're getting into when they sign up for the force, but sometimes the stress of the job is more than they can manage on their own. That's why departments like St. Louis County Police are stepping in to help.

"One of the stigmas we had to bring down is that there's nothing wrong with seeking help and making sure you're a healthy person and it's confidential," said Sgt. Scott Roach, with St. Louis County Police.

County police have had a rough couple years. In just the past few months, one of their own was killed in the line of duty and other officers have been shot. They also responded to one of the most traumatic scenes, two young boys killed by their own father.

Sgt. Roach said, "Anything that deals with kids really gets to a police officer. It gets to them even more if that police officer has kids, and it gets to them even more if the police officer has kids that age."

So how do they deal with it? CISM has been very effective, it stands for Critical Incident Stress Management. It's a debrief with first responders that gives them a chance to talk through it. 

Sgt. Roach said, "You can literally see the relief especially when you're talking to somebody who was there, they're tense and they're talking about it and by the end you can just see their shoulders are down and they're just like, 'okay.'"

The stress of the job can be overwhelming and exhausting at times, but officers are paying much more attention to the effect it has on them. 

"We have to make sure we're on top of our game for our own safety, for the public's safety and to provide that top notch service," said Sgt. Roach.

To learn more about the Critical Incident Stress Management program, visit www.stlcism.com or call 636-394-2212.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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