Barnstable County Sheriff’s Employees Receive Mental Health Training

BOURNE – The Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Cape and Islands Area Health Education Center and Cape Cod Community College to provide Mental Health First Aid training for its staff.

The eight-hour course is sponsored by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and informs staff about the signs, symptoms, and proper response to a mental health crisis, not only for those they encounter on the job but for themselves.

It comes as health officials recognize a heightened risk of trauma and depression for those working in law enforcement, who may feel stigmatized for seeking aid.

Funding from the center has made the classes available at no cost to the Sherriff’s office, which has already seen 144 employees complete the training.

“Mental and behavioral Health are just as important as physical health, everyone needs to make their mental health a priority,” said Barnstable County Sherriff Donna Buckley. “But those in law enforcement are especially vulnerable due to the trauma that can occur on the job.”

“Correctional officers are at higher risk for substance misuse, depression, and suicide,” she said. “The goal of this training is to ensure all our employees have the tools and resources they need should they or someone they know e facing a mental health crisis.”

Four more sessions are scheduled to take place this month.

Cape Cod Community College has offered mental health training courses since 2016.

By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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