Colbert County Sheriff’s Office Holds Mental Health and PTSD Training
COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The Colbert County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) held a mental health and PTSD training program Friday for its deputies and other law enforcement.
The program consisted of a two-part training exercise. In the first part, the assistants learned to identify people at risk of having a mental illness and the right ways to manage these situations.
The second part of the program teaches law enforcement officers different ways to manage their own mental health after a traumatic experience.
CCSO Sheriff Eric Balentine told News 19 that the department has never had this type of training and would consider making it a mandatory annual drill.
“It was a no-brainer for me,” Balentine said. “I have been a police officer for 27 years and this, in my opinion, must be mandatory training every year.”
The program was hosted by Sgt. Shane Blalock, Florence police officer and coordinator of the Community Mental Health Officer program in Lauderdale County.
Blalock told News 19 that officers often go through severe traumatic experiences, which is why he began including PTSD training and awareness in his programs.
“The average person in the United States has six critical incidents in their lifetime,” Blalock said. “The average police officer in Alabama has 81 in his career.”
sergeant. Blalock says PTSD from these traumatic events can eventually lead to serious negative effects on the mental health of these officers.
“The divorce rate, the drug abuse rate, the abuse rate, the suicide rate…it’s all related to stress and dealing with stress appropriately,” Blalock said.
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