New counseling service for public safety workers

(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Starting Friday, new help is available for police officers and other public safety workers who need help coping with the difficulties of their job.

Six area hospitals, including Community and IU Health, will begin offering confidential counseling for police and safety personnel in high stress jobs where other peoples’ lives or their own safety is at risk.

The Department of Public Safety says assistance is available for a number of issues: grief and stress; family or personal relationships; parenting; depression and anxiety; alcohol and drug abuse.

This counseling comes at a time when the Fraternal Order of Police and IMPD police chief say the department is hundreds of officers short.

Officers are also dealing with the loss of three fellow IMPD officers since 2011: David Moore, Rod Bradway and Perry Renn.

One recent study found that police officers have one of the highest stress jobs.

Research from the University of Minnesota also found that daily stress can lead to emotional problems: the constant danger, dealing with a sometimes hostile public, working odd hours and the responsibility for protecting and saving lives.

The Department of Public Safety and representatives from the hospitals involved will make the official announcement Friday at 10 a.m. at Old City Hall downtown.

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