California Cop Opens Up About His Suicide Attempt; How Untreated PTSD Nearly Cost One Veteran Officer His Life | Bryan Schmidt

For many police officers, the job they do every day comes with immense pressure and exposure to traumatic events that can severely impact their mental health. However, the culture of law enforcement often discourages officers from seeking help and opening up about their struggles. As former Elk Grove police officer Bryan Schmidt’s story shows us, this silence around trauma and mental health in policing needs to change.
Schmidt served as an officer for 14 years, taking on roles like SWAT team member and detective. But underneath the surface, he was silently suffering from depression, PTSD, and trauma from incidents on the job that were never properly addressed. He describes how traumatic events from his past would resurface years later, fueling anger issues and affecting his job performance and decision-making. Nearing a breaking point, Schmidt twice attempted to take his own life while on duty due to untreated mental health struggles.
It was not until Schmidt ended up in jail that he was finally able to start healing. By taking accountability for his actions and learning about PTSD, Schmidt began to understand how trauma had impacted his behavior and decisions. He advocates that law enforcement needs to provide better support systems like mandatory counseling to help officers process trauma and remove them from triggers, rather than expecting them to just push incidents aside.
Schmidt’s story highlights the urgent need for police departments and our society to address the hidden epidemic of trauma in law enforcement. By creating a culture where officers feel comfortable seeking help and departments prioritize mental health, we can help prevent needless suffering and save officers’ lives. It’s time we support those who put their lives on the line for our safety by ensuring their wellbeing is also protected.
*Views expressed in this video/article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of California Insider.
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