West St. Paul police required to speak to therapist

West St. Paul police required to speak to therapist Photo: MGN Images/ Pixabay

Updated: August 05, 2019 06:51 AM

A new initiative in West St. Paul requires police officers to have an annual mental health wellness checkup.

Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association executive director Andy Skoogman says officers' jobs are demanding, sometimes even traumatic, yet many resist seeking therapy when they need it to avoid appearing weak. Skoogman says that may be changing.

Ellie Family Services will handle the checkups. Co-owner Erin Pash tells the Star Tribune the counselors will not take notes. There will be no written records of conversations with the officers. Pash says officers can talk about whatever they want during the one-hour session, from parenting issues to work-life balance.

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