Eau Claire Community Foundation Mental Health Support Fund
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The Eau Claire Community Foundation has partnered with the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office and the Eau Claire Police Department to open a new Mental Health Support for Law Enforcement Endowment Fund.
News Release: Law enforcement personnel work tirelessly to ensure the safety of our communities, often at a tremendous personal cost. That’s why the Eau Claire Community Foundation (ECCF) is pleased to partner with the Eau Claire County Sheriff Department and the Eau Claire Police Department to open a new Mental Health Support for Law Enforcement Endowment Fund. It will help local law enforcement personnel receive reimbursement for mental health services not covered by insurance.
This new Fund will meet a significant need: Recent studies show that a significant proportion of law enforcement officers feel trapped or hopeless in their job, and many show signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In addition, many suffer from depression and anxiety. These burdens in turn result in a suicide risk that is several times greater than the general population’s; in fact, officers may be more likely to die by their own hand than in the line of duty.
Many factors contribute to these mental health burdens, including exposure to traumatic events; shift work and resulting sleep deprivation; social isolation due to unpredictable schedules; personal, legal, or financial problems; persistent risks associated with policing; and increased media scrutiny of police actions.
To make matters worse, many police departments lack the resources to provide necessary and confidential mental wellness training, leaving the officers obliged to seek mental health support from other sources. However, the high cost of mental health services often deters them from seeking the additional support they need.
But with support from this new Fund, law enforcement officers will have a significant financial barrier to wellness removed. “We’re thrilled to play a role in supporting the law enforcement personnel who do so much to keep our community safe,” explained ECCF Executive Director Sue Bornick. “We want them to know how much their work and sacrifices are appreciated.”
The public can also play a role in supporting officers’ mental health; anyone can donate online by visiting the Mental Health Support for Law Enforcement Endowment Fund page of the Eau Claire Community Foundation website (www.eccfwi.org) or mailing a check made out to ECCF/Mental Health for Law Enforcement to ECCF at 306 S. Barstow St. Suite 104, Eau Claire, WI 54701.
Law enforcement personnel do their utmost to ensure the well-being of communities in Eau Claire County; through this Fund, communities can help ensure their well-being in turn.
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