Officials express importance of mental health training for officers

Emergency situations impact those on the front lines, officers.

CLAY COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)-New information surrounding the devastating mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas continues to come to light.

As uncertainty in our communities deepens about what may come next, there’s also a concern about how people are coping.

Emergency situations impact those on the front lines, officers.

Mental health training is vital to ensure law enforcement can handle a traumatic scene.

” At the end of the day, we’re human too. We have emotions that we have to work through. With us, it comes after the fact. The adrenaline is pumping. We train what we can to do to get in there and take care of the problem,” said Scott.

Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott is making sure his deputies can respond to a crime scene with a sound mind.

The department holds mental health training regularly.

” Chaplains call all the time and want to come by and pray. We have counselors that offer their services. Our county actually even has contracts to our employees to go, and talk to somebody,” said Scott.

Recent headlines of the deadly massacres in Buffalo, New York, Orange County, LA, and now Uvalde, Texas may leave officers with on edge.

Even here at home in Clay County, a deputy sustained gunshot wounds during a hostage situation back in November of 2021.

Veronica Harrison, the Mobile Crisis Coordinator with Community Counseling Services in Columbus, said the organization provides counseling resources throughout the week.

” We offer to debrief. It’s needed after a traumatic event. We offer the services to help them work through whatever emotions and feelings they may be dealing with from that event or maybe evoked,” said Harrison.

Scott hopes more officers will join in the discussion to address the stigma surrounding mental health.

” It’s nothing to be ashamed of. At the end of the day, reality will hit us too,” said Scott.

“We offer an opportunity for them to diffuse, debrief, and declutter, so they can be their best selves,” said Harrison.

Community Counseling Services encourages people to seek their resources regularly.

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