Suicide Prevention and Awareness Program (City of Post Falls)
Monday, December 21, 2015
Posted by: Gay Dawn Oyler
Utilizing our volunteer chaplains, The Post Falls Police Department’s Suicide Prevention and Awareness Program provides swift, compassionate contact and a resource packet whenever a suicide threat, attempt, or death is reported within our jurisdiction. Ongoing support is offered as needed. In addition, the department presents suicide awareness and prevention information to community leaders and organizations throughout the year.
Post Falls Police implemented this suicide outreach in 2009, stemming from conversations among the department’s command staff. They decided more could be done to provide help and hope to suicidal individuals and their family members who police officers encountered on a regular basis. At that time, officers had limited resources. Their options were exhausted if they were unable to arrest the individual or place them on an involuntary hold at the hospital.
Now, officers have access to volunteer chaplains who will immediately respond to the location of a suicidal incident. The chaplains remain a consistent support for the suicidal individual and their family from that moment forward with phone contact and guidance to community resources such as counselors and suicide prevention agencies. Chaplains may also be advised by the department’s crime victim advocates and school resource officers to contact a potentially suicidal individual to offer the same support and resources.
Post Falls Police chaplains have made contact with hundreds of suicidal individuals and their family members over the past five years. Until 2014, none of those individuals who the chaplains followed-up with succumbed to suicide. Post Falls Police continues to grow and refine our Suicide Awareness and Prevention Program, which is providing a lifesaving option for our citizens.
For more info, contact:
Chief of Police