Prioritize Mental Health for our police officers & first responders- DANGEROUS not to

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Police officers and other first responders are HIGHLY LIKELY to experience trauma, repeatedly, throughout their career. According to the DSM-V, the symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are Intrusive thoughts, Avoiding reminders, Negative thoughts and feelings, and AROUSAL AND REACTIVE SYMPTOMS (e.g., reckless, destructive behaviors, easily startled, angry outbursts). Trauma even impacts their perception, which means they may perceive a threat even when there might not be one. When we perceive threats, we go into "survival brain" and do not have access to our "processing/learning brain" (as illustrated in the above image from Understanding Trauma: Learning Brain vs Survival Brain We want our police officers to be calculating and purposeful in their decisions. We do not want to risk previous trauma clouding their judgment & their ability to process when they are faced with civilians of whom they should ensure their safety even if they are simultaneously needing to enforce the law. There is a stigma present in the police world however against mental health services. Police officers often avoid seeking help in order to avoid scrutiny or any backlash that it could cause. They view it as a blemish on their record, and they fear the scrutiny and impact on their career that it would cause if the media or public ever had the information that they sought psychological help. Counseling or therapy should be required and ongoing for all police officers and first responders! It is a confidential process that would allow them to get the help they need and if the qualified professional working with them understood indications that they could be a danger to themselves or others, they could do something to PREVENT something disastrous. Lets start putting more PREVENTATIVE IDEAS on the table. Reactionary measures do not bring back those people we senselessly lost! There should be much more dignity in having the strenght to get the help you need, than in "sucking it up" in order to avoid the shame of pursuing stigmatized treatment. George Floyd and COUNTLESS others deserve that we take a look at the WHOLE system and WHOLE approach from START TO FINISH!!