POLICE SUICIDE: SHINING A LIGHT
On so many levels, the members of a law enforcement agency look, sound and feel…like family. We work together…we socialize with each other…and most importantly we’re there for each other when it matters most. Like any family, we are all shaken by the loss of one of our own. But when that loss comes at a member’s own hand, we struggle to make sense of the situation. In a profession where strength, resilience and the ability to solve problems are both revered and expected, police suicide is a topic that produces discomfort and, too often, silence. Only through awareness, and having the courage to ask for and offer support, will we begin to change the culture, recognizing mental health and suicide prevention as important components of officer safety. “Police Suicide: Shining a Light” examines the very complicated subject of police suicide, including the often hidden psychological risks of policing, indicators that someone may be in trouble and – most importantly – what we can all do to help.
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Former Bolingbrook Illinois Police Commander Chris Prochut (pro-hut) is a mental health awareness advocate and law enforcement suicide prevention trainer.
Over the past six years, Chris has had the pleasure to present to over 6,000 law enforcement officers across the United States and Canada on the topics of suicide and depression warning signs, medication myths, department policy revision, and told of his personal experience with the stigma of mental health issues. In addition to training with the LEDR Team, Chris has also presented at numerous Crisis Intervention Team Trainings (CIT) where he addresses the subject of "Taking care of our own” and has been featured at various specialized law enforcement conferences advising departments on program development to assist officers at risk for suicide. Feedback from these trainings shows just how well received Chris’s message is, how the topics of suicide and mental illness are rarely discussed within law enforcement, and how education and training are causing a paradigm shift within police departments.
Chris is a member of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Death Response (LEDR) Team, a former trainer in QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) suicide prevention program, a FBI National Academy (FBINA) Enrichment Speaker, a FBI National Academy Associates (FBINAA) Officer Safety and Wellness Committee Member, and an active volunteer with BringChange2Mind.
Chris resides in Hartford, Wisconsin with his wife Jennifer and their children Chase (13) and Ashlyn (9).