In partnership with Chicago-based WGN Radio, Adler has created the podcast On Social Health and Change—a weekly series, in which faculty, students, and community partners address social justice issues.
In episode 2, we discuss the stressors, traumas and culture that make policing such a difficult and isolating job—and how to better support the mental health of hurting officers.
Part 1: Job Stress and Isolation
Karen Koch, Ph.D., director of Adler’s Master’s in Counseling: Specialization in Forensic Psychology program—and a former police officer herself—discusses the brutal nature of the job and it’s toll on officers and their families.
“I think trauma is part of the job—and it’s inherent, especially in a big community like Chicago…It’s the worst of humanity and you have to absorb that.”
Part 2: A Culture Resistant to Change
Rachel Johnston, Ph.D., director of the Master’s in Criminology program director at Adler University Global Campus, discusses administrative and bureaucratic barriers to destigmatizing mental health issues for police officers.
“The best thing they could do would be to change the culture around what it means to take care of each other.”
Part 3: Finding Support
Brian Warner, an 18-year veteran Chicago Police Officer and founder of Chicago Police Survivors, explains how developing PTSD after a shooting inspired him to help other officers feel less stigma and receive better mental health supports.
“Unfortunately, people think officers are robots. They think because you hang a badge on their chest and a gun on their hip, they’re immune to all these stressors. It’s simply not true.”