Fla. sheriff shares video encouraging LEOs to seek mental health help

In a Facebook video, Sheriff John Mina reminded law enforcement officers that 'it's OK to not be OK'

Joe Mario Pedersen
Orlando Sentinel

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Sheriff John Mina came out with a special message to law enforcement officers Monday: “It’s OK to not be OK.”

The sheriff released the video with a request for anyone suffering in silence to seek help.

The video begins with a slide show of pictures showing happy, smiling officers on the job.

“We look happy and stress free,” Mina said “But how we look on the outside isn’t necessarily how we feel on the inside.”

It's OK to not be OK

It's OK to not be OK.

Posted by Orange County Sheriff's Office, Florida on Monday, January 6, 2020

In 2019, there were 228 officers who took their own lives, according to the Massachusetts-based nonprofit BLUE H.E.L.P. It’s a stark rise from the total in 2018, which was recorded at 172, and 2017's total at 168.

Mina then addressed that his own 30 years of law enforcement work wasn’t stress free, and there were times the job affected him deeply.

“I wasn’t OK. I needed help and got it. If you need help, ask for it. Because you matter.” Mina said. “As a law enforcement officer, our mental health is just as important as our physical health.”

Mina’s video was shared nearly 300 times, and viewed more than 354,000 times since it launched Monday. Viewers left positive comments for Mina’s message and for law enforcement everywhere.

"Thank you for the courage in sharing this post," wrote Shelley Garza. "We as citizens, take for granted that law enforcement officers are strong and well grounded. I know sometimes I forget that you’re humans too. Thanks for the reminder."

"Absolutely. We need all of our officers wherever they serve to be mentally and emotionally as well as physically ok [sic]," wrote Carrie Guylledge-Wilson.

The video closes with phone numbers available to anyone who needs help.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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