The Department encourages you to use the Police Employee Assistance Program (PEAP) whenever you need to talk or are going through a hard time in your life. The Department wants you to believe that anything you say to PEAP is confidential and that no one else will know about your conversation. I believe that the Department wants you to talk to PEAP because it is not completely confidential and, in certain circumstances, PEAP is required to report you depending on what you say to them. In some cases, employees have even been fired or will be fired for things that they have told PEAP in confidence.
I am not trying to say anything bad about the officers who work in PEAP. They are all good people, but they have rules and policies to follow just like the rest of us, and the Department will discipline them if they do not follow those rules. Some of those rules require them to report officers depending on what is said to them. And there have been many occasions where they have reported officers for the things that have been told to them in confidence.
If you are having a hard time and need to talk, there are other options outside the Department that you can turn to. One option that is specifically for first responders is 911 At Ease International (911AEI). 911AEI can provide you with free counseling sessions with licensed health professionals. This program is not affiliated with the Department in any way and is completely confidential. This program won’t even bill your health insurance, which means no one at LVMPD will ever know that you are using their services.
Here are some of the things 911AEI can assist with:
911AEI provides first responders and their family members with access to free, professional, confidential, local, trauma-informed counseling and therapy. First responders operate in trauma-based professions where an emotional injury is a common side effect of work-related situations and events. This may cause issues with one’s professional and personal life, and/or post-traumatic stress (PTS), which can lead to behavioral, mental and/or physical health issues that can have severe consequences.
Furthermore, they provide peer-to-peer support, chaplaincy, referral services and critical incident response. 911AEI offers these services through the help of qualified clinicians who are finely attuned to the culture and lifestyle surrounding first responder professions and their families.
If you and your family ever find yourself needing help but are worried that the Department will try and come after you for getting the help you need, then consider reaching out to 911AEI. You can contact them at (888) 283-2734 or find out more at 911AEI.org.