Mayor Larsen Announces Law Enforcement Mental Health And Wellness Act For East Hampton Village Police Officers – PRNewswire

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Dec 07, 2021, 12:50 ET
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EAST HAMPTON, N.Y., Dec. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — East Hampton Village and the Village’s Police Benevolent Association Union, have announced a new mental health initiative for East Hampton Village Police Officers. The new initiative implements a mandatory mental health screening at least every three years for all village officers. Mayor Jerry Larsen, himself a thirty-four-year veteran officer of East Hampton Village Police Department and its former Chief for 14 years, has made the mental health of officers a priority for several years due to the toll he’s seen policing take on officers over the years.
"Officers see a lot of trauma on the job from horrible accidents and suicide to domestic abuse and drug overdoses that deeply affects their psyche and ability to do their job," explains Larsen. Even though counseling services have been available to the officers, many have been ashamed to seek the therapy due to the stigma attached. "With mandated evaluations, we take away the stigma and allow each and every officer to express their emotions in a safe environment on a regular basis. They are able to get the counseling that they need and cannot be singled out," continues Mayor Larsen. It is important to note that additional counseling and support services are available to the officers as needed.
"I feel very strongly about this initiative and believe it should be implemented nationwide. Police Officers, in fact all first responders, should be required to have regular mental health screenings. It creates a safer work environment for all and allows those who protect and serve us to be supported emotionally." – Jerry Larsen, Mayor
The new initiative implements a mandatory mental health screening at least every three years for all village officers. At the launch of this program, officers will work with East Hampton psychotherapist Mary Bromley, who has a long history of counseling officers both in East Hampton Village and the New York Police Department’s Special Victims Unit.
"The East Hampton Village Police Benevolent Association appreciates the support shown to our officers by this initiative by providing the necessary resources to address the serious challenges many officers face as a result of their job. Everyone deals with stress in different ways and seeking help shouldn’t be stressful." – E.H. Village P.B.A. President Ken Brabant
Due to the stressful nature of their occupations, law enforcement officers need better access to mental health services to improve their health and help alleviate the anxiety that is a by-product of their jobs. Research has shown time and again that police officer occupational stress is directly related to higher rates of heart disease, divorce, sick days taken, alcohol abuse, and major psychological illnesses such as acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety disorder.
The program is set to launch at the start of the new year.
SOURCE East Hampton Village
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