Royce West

Texas Law Enforcement Officers Have Access to Peer Network Group to Help Deal With Stress

App gives law enforcement officers access to trained peers to help with stress, trauma, fatigue and more

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Police officers often see the worst situations that can weigh on their mental health. That can lead to deadly results according to statistics from 2017 to 2021 here in Texas.

"Ninety-eight percent of every first responder that committed suicide was a police officer,” Texas Law Enforcement Peer Network State Director Dustin Schellenger said. “So that's a problem and that's part of what's driving this need."

Law enforcement and government officials gathered Thursday at the University of North Texas at Dallas to highlight the Texas Law Enforcement Peer Network.

It gives officers access to trained peers to address stress, trauma, fatigue and more.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia explained the network helps more than just the officer.

"When that family life starts to struggle -- first of all it's not good personally, but then work-life struggles,” Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said. “And when work-life struggles and you are handling the amount of calls and volume that my officers are handling and have to deal with residents, a happy police officer and well taken care of police officer will make a happy community member."

Texas State Senator Royce West said it allows officers to get help anonymously which makes it easier for officers to open up.

"So it doesn't turn around and end up in destructive behavior at home, destructive behavior from the person, or inversely impacting the persons they come in contact within the community," West said.

"We have hundreds that have signed up for the app and have had discussions with people,” Schellenger said. “But ones that were really struggling and saying 'hey I really need someone to talk to' we've had 46 of them since April."

They hope to see more take advantage of the help.

To learn more click here.

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