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NCJ Number: 220856 
Title: Trauma and Police Suicide Ideation (From Under the Blue Shadow: Clinical and Behavioral Perspectives on Police Suicide, P 89-118, 2007, John M. Violanti and Stephanie Samuels -- See NCJ-220852)
Author(s): John M. Violanti; Stephanie Samuels
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Type: Case Study; Issue Overview
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Following an introductory discussion of the association between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in police officers and suicide ideation, this chapter presents six case studies that illustrate how police officers who become involved in traumatic events became at increased risk for suicide ideation and the potential for completed suicide.
Abstract: Violanti (2004) examined odds ratios of traumatic police work exposures and suicide ideation. He found that as PTSD symptoms increased to high levels, the odds of suicide ideation also increased. When PTSD scores were above the prescribed cutoff score of 21, there was a significant increase in the odds of suicide ideation and elevated alcohol use. Along with high PTSD symptoms, elevation in alcohol use also significantly increased the odds of suicide ideation. In one case, an officer's need for strong expressions of approval and the stress of his work in monitoring and investigating Internet child pornography combined to produce stress that fostered suicide ideation. In another case, an officer was involved in a confrontation in which shots were fired at his head. Although the bullets missed him and hit his car, leaving an imprint, the intensity and threat of the moment resulted in the officer having PTSD and panic attacks, with symptoms of sleeplessness. The PTSD was aggravated by a dysfunctional police organization that failed to provide the support he needed in order to deal with his PTSD. Other cases show how an officer's personal characteristics interacting with police job responsibilities produced PTSD, adverse coping behaviors, and associated suicide ideation. 20 references
Main Term(s): Police suicide
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Mental disorders; Police occupational stress; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD)
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