NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Connecticut State Police employees can get help dealing with the stresses of the job through a new wellness program.
Sgt. Troy Anderson, the Trooper Wellness and Resiliency director with Connecticut State Police, said, “Just think about some of the things responders are coming to in general. Fatal accidents, SIDS death, horrific domestic violence events, crimes against children and elderly, there are some awful thing. They see a side of society no one should ever have to encounter.”
Sgt. Troy Anderson wants to get employees to a place where they can talk about their feelings.
“You need to talk about it and we have professionals, some of the best professionals, we’ve identified over the years that we can get folks to, so they can process that and get back to a place where they are at peace and able to do their job,” said Sgt. Anderson.
Anderson says the national trend of police suicide has gone up. A non-profit estimates that at least 228 police officers died by suicide last year.
“Unacceptable numbers. Those numbers should be zero because the reality is there are more officers that take their own lives than are killed in the line of duty,” said added Sgt. Anderson.
Detective Ken Dillon, with the Connecticut State Police, is helping others by sharing his story. He battled depression after working as a trooper for twenty years.
“I found myself isolating more and wanting to be not part of the social events or drinking more for me was a big issue,” said Dillon.
He was at his lowest point after the Sandy Hook tragedy.
Dillon said, “I was tasked with helping out major crime personnel with processing the scene for the week, so that took a toll on all of us.”
Dillon was arrested for DUI and says he thought about suicide.
Dillon said, “I had to go get help for the alcohol and once I got help for that, that’s when I had to go get help for the trauma I had seen.”