I strongly believe your psychological fitness and mental habits will absolutely make or break you in the line of duty. To go to the extreme examples, you don’t need to look far to find thousands of severe cases of mental illness in serving and former police officers. It is almost ingrained in the police culture that mental illness is just another challenge to deal with.
At the very worst it can end in you paying the ultimate sacrifice at your own hand.
You will potentially face traumatic stress in the police service equal to that which a soldier experiences in combat. Some would say even worse. It may shock you that thousands of Australian police are medically discharged suffering mental illness.
Perhaps more disturbing is the logic of certain police services avoiding the discussion of extreme mental illness (suicide), citing that it will only encourage more problems. (Verity, 2014)
Those officers that have gone before us and paid this ultimate price are not remembered by name on Police Remembrance Days. Nor will you find their names in the National Police Memorial.
I don’t tell you all this to depress you or scare you away. I write this to get your attention that your mental health and psychological resilience is one of your most important skills. Far more important than your investigatory skills and even more important that your skills with a firearm.