Thank you for visiting Paladin's Perspective:
Law enforcement officers come from very diverse work environments. As officers we may work anywhere from the back woods to the city streets. These environments produce a variety of important issues that may or may not be relavent to officers working in dissimilar locations. Be that as it may, there are many issues common to all environments. These issues include an increasingly aggressive and disrespectful public, frivolous lawsuits, unpredictable persons and circumstances, dealing with violent persons, and dealing with the dead, the dying, and the aftermath of death. These are the issues that bind officers from all walks of life. Many times it is easy to say or think that we can deal with anything that comes our own way (and most of us think we can). We come up with our own ways of dealing with the pressures of everyday life on and off the job. These "ways of coping" are many times based on a lack of appropriate knowledge about stress and how to utilize positive coping skills. This lack of knowledge and false sense of helping our selves commonly results in alcohol abuse, anger outbreaks or other non-productive or negative behaviors that can (and usually do) affect both our families as well as ourselves. The truth is that we are not intrinsically designed to deal with our emotional self and are many times at a loss when it comes to knowing how to properly deal with stress on the job, stress with management, or stress at home. Please take the time to review the many resources presented here. You may find that some will make your life a little easier when you need it most.
This site started out as primarily law enforcement oriented but over time has evolved to include assisting veterans who wish to address mental health concerns outside the military and military involvement. There are many overlapping issues that combat veterans and law enforcement officers struggle with over a lifetime. These issues arise from attending to life and death situations, dealing with grief and loss, the stress of operating in threatening and dangerous environments and situations, and the burden of attempting to maintain control over what can be uncontrollable circumstances and situations where life and death decisions must be made. Also, stresses after the fact normally arise due to the scrutiny of outside entities or persons who may or may not have proper experience, training, or insight as to what it's like to have to be out on the front lines when "it hits the fan". Similar resistances to seeking assistance are also common between law enforcement officers and combat veterans.
Attempting to get mental health assistance from the VA can be daunting, nebulous, or simply not seen as worth it to some veterans. Paladin's Perspective can be a refreshing resource for those who believe they could use some help but don't want to deal with the "downside" of dealing with the administrative hassle or a military environment/setting. Also, there may be hesitation from some to attempt to speak with resources outside the military due to a lack of insight or understanding of their point of view.
First responders are exposed to large numbers of incidents and situations ranging from "every day" to critical in nature. Repeated exposure to human tragedy and dealing with highly stressful traumatic events can be debilitating over time and create the need for supplemental mental health related support. First responders are often left out of the limelight and underappreciated yet provide an incredibly valuable service that requires superior stress control, personal dedication, long hours, and pay rates that may not reflect their contribution to the safety of their clients (if they get paid at all). Paladin's Perspective recognizes this contribution and can also be a valuable resource when assistance is needed related to the effects that this kind of dynamic and stress inducing public safety service can have.
Be sure to visit often as the site will be updated on a regular basis with tips and advice for staying sane in what often seems like an insane world.
Sgt. Kevin Hackworth, retired, Founder
MA, LLPC, RAC