Police suicides prompt new mental health outreach

WGN Investigates
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CHICAGO — After three police officers committed suicide in less than three months over the summer, the Chicago Police Department is renewing  and expanding its outreach to officers.

From a priest on patrol to peer support groups, police brass have tried to reach each and every officer to say it’s okay to seek help. Chicago police also plan to hire more clinicians, as officers like Rob Casale work to fill the void in their free time. Casale said trauma takes a real toll on cops.

“It took 20 years for that to catch up to me but it did,” Casale said.

WGN Investigates found the department has only five clinical therapists to help 13,500 officers and support personnel, despite a level of need described as “perpetual” in a 2017 Justice Department report.

WGN’s Ben Bradley has more.

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