Recently, the Chicago Police Department opened a wellness center for its officers at 11540 S. Western Ave. Police Superintendent Fred Waller and 19th Ward Alderman Matt O’Shea were both on hand for an open house at the facility. The wellness center is part of the Chicago Police Department’s efforts to support its officers, who are regularly exposed to difficult and traumatic circumstances.
“I am excited this wellness center will be a safe place for Chicago’s brave men and women in blue to get the support they need,” said Alderman O’Shea.
In 2017, the U.S. Justice Department report found that the suicide rate of Chicago police officers was 60% higher than the national average for members of law enforcement. Last year alone, 7 Chicago Police Officers died by suicide. The wellness center will provide clinical, trauma, drug and alcohol, peer support, and chaplains programs to support officers and their families. All programs will be HIPAA protected and fully confidential.
The aim of the wellness center is to ensure that officers are well supported with mental health and well-being services. In addition to providing services, the center will also provide a safe space for officers to talk openly and honestly about their mental health and their experiences in the department. If you or someone you know is struggling, help is always available 24 hours a day through the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988. The Wellness Center is a welcome addition to the resources available for Chicago Police Officers and provides an important outlet to find support and care.