Chicago Police Department forms partnership to focus on officers' mental health

The Chicago Police Department is now working with the "National Alliance on Mental Illness" to get officers the help they need.

The organization says it has worked with the department's crisis intervention program since 2004.


Through the partnership, the organization says it has identified a need to offer mental health support to officers because law enforcement culture has focused on "toughening up," which has prevented officers from seeking help.

Twenty sworn Chicago police officers have died from suicide since 2018, including four this year, according to figures provided by a police spokesman. In 2017, a report by the U.S. Department of Justice found the department’s suicide rate was 60% higher than the national average.

The deaths have highlighted the mental health issues facing sworn officers, and have renewed condemnation of the department’s decision to routinely cancel days off, a practice that underscores deep staffing woes.

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line)

CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.

Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.