The Problem with a Pot-Belly Police Officer

Have we ever considered that police officers behave badly because they’re just plain unhealthy? Your psychology degree is about to become a lot more valuable.

The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (LEMHWA) was passed in Congress in 2017 and signed into law in 2018. Studies have shown that police officers’ health is relatively worse compared to the general US population. During 2004 to 2009, about 47% of all police officers worked a non-day shift compared to 9% of US workers. Rates of depression for police were 12% compared to 6.8% of the general population. Police were even four times more likely to sleep less than six hours within a 24 hour period. Mental health and wellness is the next stage of human evolution.

Send in the therapists. But like, for everyone.

If we’re recognizing the importance of mental health and wellness overall, why are we limiting benefit programs to just law enforcement? We know of mental health issues in homeless communities. Therapists/psychologists/whateverists can become providers for communities…not just cops.

We all want to be heard.

Focusing on the mental health and wellness of police officers alone does not address the symbiotic relationship between law enforcement and the communities they live in. Only healing police officers is like constantly breaking a cup and gluing it back together. We need a blanket approach to health and wellness that includes caring for citizens, not just servants. We need to address the average. We need to bend the curve.

Here’s the reality – the self-improvement industry is expected to grow to $13.2 billion by 2022. The general wellness industry is estimated to be about $4.2 trillion around the world. The entire entertainment industry of gaming, movies, and music combined is merely 5% the size of the global wellness industry. Health is huge. The demand for treating mental health and wellness is widely known and continues to grow. Why are we limiting benefits to only boys in blue? The fact is health is a collective. We must spread more health and less disease.

Outrage gets attention, but it’s in finding our commonalities where life for any one gets better. We don’t get better without each other.

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