Doctor Calls For More Mental Health Support For Chicago Cops After 3rd Officer Suicide in a Week

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Like many people Thursday, Dr. Carrie Steiner received the news that another Chicago police officer took their own life.

Steiner is a former Chicago police officer who also operates a first responders wellness center, helping officers who are struggling with their mental health.

During an unrelated press conference Thursday morning, Mayor Lori Lightfoot addressed the news.

“It’s important for us to make sure that when we know someone is having struggles, that we don’t ignore it,” Lightfoot said.

According to Chicago police, seven officers have died by suicide since Jan. 1. Steiner said officers are dealing with many troubling issues, including witnessing violence consistently, depictions of their profession in the media and feeling like they do not have adequate support.

“I think that most Chicago police officers feel like their organization has betrayed them, that they don’t feel support from the higher-ups or the mayor. That leads to and can lead to hopelessness, and hopelessness is the number one predictor of suicide,” Steiner said.

Zion police officer Matt Thornton contemplated suicide nearly a decade ago, but said a spiritual awakening saved him. He said that is why he works with other officers to help them achieve a level of mental stability.

Dr. Steiner said the community can better help officers by being more empathetic about the dangerous job they face.

“If we want officers to be more accountable, if we want officers to be more respectful, then we have to respect them, and we have to support them in doing their job.

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