Cobb County District Attorney Flynn D. Broady, Jr. held the first Mental Health and Suicide Prevention for Law Enforcement Symposium. at the Cobb Public Safety Training Center on September 23, 2021.
Over 100 people registered. The symposium was free for law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, victim advocates, and mental health professionals.
Cobb County DA Chief Investigator Charles Prescott came up with the idea for the event, citing the high rate of suicide among law enforcement officers.
“I’ve attended four funerals of fellow officers who have lost their lives to suicide this year. We are here to make sure that mental health does not remain a taboo subject.”
The press release reporting on the event described the situation leading to the event as follows:
The demand for mental health related response by law enforcement continues to increase. Nationwide, over 47,500 people died by suicide in 2019, which is more deaths than natural disasters, war and homicide combined. In 2021, there have been 104 reported officers who have committed suicide, according to Blue H.E.L.P.
“In our profession, we see many things that warp our minds on how we feel about this world,” DA Broady said. “I wanted to have this symposium to provide an open dialogue about mental health and law enforcement as well as sharing information about resources available.”
Patrick Cullinan of the Southern States Police Benevolent Association, was the keynote speaker, and he talked about his personal experiences with suicide and alcohol addiction throughout his 32-year career.
William Anastasio, a Senior Investigator with Cobb County, Dr. Keisha Pou-Buchanan, LPC, CPCS, and Officer Jacob King with the Cobb County also spoke.
For more information visit the following links:
The virtual brochure from the Symposium includes the agenda, biographies of the speakers, and more information from the event. Highlights from each presentation are available in this playlist on the Cobb County District Attorney’s Youtube channel.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline online or by phone: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)