The Toll of Wearing the Badge: A Widow‘s Fight to Ensure Police Suicides Are Seen For What They Are – Line of Duty Deaths with Dr. Serena Liebengood

Blue View by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)

Oct 10 2023 • 39 mins

While the stresses are relentless, cops are supposed to be “tough.” The perceived stigma surrounding mental health problems keeps many officers from seeking the help they need. As we face a rash of law enforcement suicides, it is time that we recognize the psychological toll of wearing the badge and honor the sacrifices of those officers who take their own lives.

On this episode of the Blue View, National FOP President Patrick Yoes sits down with Dr. Serena Liebengood, a physician and suicide survivor, to discuss the critical issue of police officer wellness and mental health. Dr. Liebengood shares her personal story of losing her husband, Howie, a 15-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police, to suicide. The conversation delves into the systemic stressors that law enforcement officers face and the urgent need for comprehensive wellness programs.

Dr. Liebengood brings her unique perspective as a physician and a public health expert to shed light on the complex issue of officer wellness. She emphasizes the importance of focusing on organizational stress as a significant factor affecting officers’ mental health. The episode also explores the Public Safety Officer Support Act and its implications for the future of law enforcement wellness programs.

This episode is not just an eye-opener but a call to action for agencies, policymakers, and the public to recognize and address the mental health crisis among law enforcement officers. Tune in to understand the depth of the problem and what can be done to create a safer, healthier environment for those who protect and serve.

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