Local law enforcement stresses the importance of mental health

VALENCIA COUNTY, NM – Law enforcement is working to create an open conversation about the importance of mental health.

“It has to be something that is considered important from the highest level,” Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina said. “I’ve been very open to our officers that every six months I sit down with someone for my sanity.”

ODA has tried to focus on mental health. It’s not just the APD, Bosque Farms Police Chief Andrew Owen said his department is working to break the stigma of mental health issues in law enforcement.

“The need is, as it’s manifested over the years, to be a military veteran and to have a lot of our officers as military veterans, you know, to deal with the different situations that we’ve had to deal with. face in this area. And then continue our service to our fellow man,” Owens said.

The department works with the Public Safety Psychology Group, which specializes in providing first responder care.

Chief Medina said he saw officers resign because they needed a break. He hopes that by making mental health a priority, officers can stay longer.

“I think we need to make sure that we remove, you know, the mental health stigma and make sure everyone knows it’s okay and it’s a good thing to talk to someone and talk to someone about it. ‘get help,’ he said.

Chief Owens said he wanted those who serve and protect to be cared for as well.

“It promotes the fact that they want to stay in an area where they feel they are not just servants of the community, but part of the community because they are cared for as much as they are. them”. we take care of our citizens,” he said.