Once again we have received the news of another Police Suicide. Today, a young, beautiful, respected and popular sergeant took her own life after a fight with her girlfriend. I had no idea that she might be gay and it didn't matter if she was or not actually. The situation is so sad and it is one that happens over and over again. And this being the Christmas/Chanukah Season doesn't help either. Sergeant Stephanie Moses wasn't a friend of mine but I knew her from the many NYPD functions that we'd attend. Everyone loved her. The above photo was taken by me in 2007 at the Relay for Life with NYPD Officers, an annual event where NYPD cops and their friends and relatives who are or were dealing with cancer would do a 24 hour "walk" to raise awareness. Stephanie and members of the Ceremonial Unit would be present for the National Anthem and Color Guard Ceremonies. Ravishingly beautiful with a beautiful personality, she represented the NYPD so many times in such a professional manner. I'm at a loss to say much more now. This is devastating news.
I'm hoping Bear and some of our members who are more qualified than me can give us some words...once again. This is a sad day for my department and for all law enforcement. It happens all across the country and it doesn't get any easier.
Thank you, BluePride, for letting us know about the loss of Sergeant Stephanie Moses. It is heartbreaking. And, it is likely that any domestic issues were but a small piece of the tragic puzzle that led her to take her life.
Tommy and BluePride LGBT comrades, I have shared this before but Sargeant Moses' loss reminds us that THREE TIMES as many LEOs compete suicide as the number killed by criminals. And, no reliable figures are available but it is thought that the percentage of LGBT officers taking their own lives is even higher. Given the stresses of being LGBT in LEO professions, I have no doubt it is true. Additionally to other stressors, with all its joys, this holiday time of year is the saddest time of all for too many.
It is timely and important that all of us know there IS help. I am ready as a "safe haven" confidential ear at any time. I have contacts in most any region where our LEO men and women live for a referral to understanding professionals who can offer face-to-face help. And I am available at any time by phone. Contact me at: [email protected]
Respectfully, "Bear" Mark Hartness MPH, Master of Public Health (graduate dissertation student, University of Liverpool) MS, Grief and Bereavement Counseling MS, Pastoral Thanatology LSPT, Licensed Senior Psychiatric Technician CT, Certified Traumatologist FT, Fellow in Thanatology CPE, Clinical Pastoral Education
The CARE is in the CARING
The CARE is in the CARING. M.H. - Thanatology / Traumatology - MPH, MS, MS, LSPT, CT, FT, CPE
What a powerful article. It really shows how the survivors of those who took that route out are affected. He doesn't know if his writings do any good for himself or anyone else but I think that he does a disservice to himself and anyone else if he stops. He probably doesn't realize how much he is helping others by relating what his experiences are. I hope his department has some sort of program available to assist guys like him. Just like the Police, Firefighters experience sights that no human being should ever have to see. And people forget that these guys are human and not machines. We all get affected by the things we experience and sometimes personal problems get thrown into the mix. It can be a recipe for disaster. It's very important for himself and others that he vents and deals with what he's going through. Even if his department doesn't have a unit to deal with problems like this, there should be a regional group that he can turn to. Even if it's just a volunteer peer-support group. I'm not sure if the FDNY has a unit like what I'm talking about but I may look into it to see. I do know that NYPD has official and unofficial groups to deal with serious issues like what he's dealing with.
I can't tell you how many things LEO's and FF's experience that stay with them and eat at them. And we probably can all give a laundry list of those things. They're universal. I'm hoping he continues to write and vent. And I hope someone near him, if not his department, can take an active role in helping him deal.
This is an issue close to my on-going mission to help those who are suffering. As a CT (Certified Traumatologist) and having taken the California Suicide Prevention program training through the CA HHS - Dept of Health and Human Services - just last month, I remind BluePriders there is help both for those at suicide risk AND survivors. I will further be taking the official Suicide Prevention Train the Trainer certification training next March. ANY one can contact me through BluePride for emergency critical intervention by phone and further referral for personal care wherever they may live.