I thought this was something interesting enough to repost for your education. It remains to be seen whether or not this would actually HELP the current state of affairs in WV. State Police are excellent actors, most likely the majority having missed their true calling in life, and unless someone were uncontrollably drooling and picking boogers they would probably be found mentally competent, ESPECIALLY if they should happen to be using the same folks who do psych-evaluations for the court system…..
Panel urges mental health screenings for police to curb suicides
Jan 21, 2008 @ 01:16 PM
The Associated Press
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia State Police is working to implement yearly behavioral health screenings for troopers based on recommendations from a panel studying suicides among law enforcement.
Gov. Joe Manchin sought the review after Cpl. Marlo Gonzales, 39, of Hurricane, a 13-year-veteran of the force, was found dead last fall in his cruiser from a bullet fired from his service weapon. His death was the second suicide by a West Virginia state trooper since 1999.
Joe Thornton, deputy secretary of the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, said the goal is to implement all of the committee’s recommendations, though time and resources may cause some delays in putting them into practice.
While the existing system, including confidential counseling services, is adequate, the panel says in its Jan. 2 report to Manchin that more could be done, including erasing the stigma often associated with seeking help for emotional issues.
It suggested the agency try mandatory screenings for five years.
The agency also should do more to advertise the available mental health services and to help troopers feel more comfortable about seeking treatment.
The panel also recommended making psychological health and stability an integral part of performance ratings and reinforcing the occupational hazards of the job during recruit training.
It also suggests training supervisors to identify people who may need help and reviewing how prescribed medicines may affect troopers’ work.
Besides Thornton, the committee included John Linton, vice chair of the Department of Behavioral Medicine at West Virginia University; John Bianoni, commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau for Behavioral Health; and Carl “Butch” Berlin, a retired State Police lieutenant.