Roy Lopez, In The Barber Chair, Mental Health Conversations Within Law Enforcement
Roy LopezImage by: Aleks Kovac
Roy Lopez, In The Barber Chair, Mental Health Conversations Within Law Enforcement
24 March 2021

Roy Lopez On Why Mental Health Conversations Are Crucial

Mo Bro
Roy Lopez
3 minutes read time

When I first started working as an officer, I would always hear about the dangers of drinking and suicide. I never understood the process of how and why that happens, but to be honest I never paid it any attention. It was kind of a weird thing to talk to each other about. Unfortunately, as the years went by, I began to hear about officers taking their own lives. To this day, I know of several people who I’ve met in law enforcement that have taken their life. No one really understood why or really saw any signs that would have risen any red flags.

Being an officer has always been my dream job; but it has also been very taxing. For someone who has a short attention span like myself, I’m never bored with my daily work. I realized right away that we see and deal with a lot every day. We respond to radio calls and are expected to wear a variety of hats and fix a lot of problems. Most of the times people just want to be heard and have the chance to express themselves. By the time my shift is done, I am mentally and physically drained. I then must be ready to come back to work every day.

For most people working out and being physically active will help with dealing with all the stress. For some people who have no outlet the stress begins to build up and eventually will overflow into your personal life. In this job, you must have some type of outlet to deal with all the stress.

Several years ago, Law Enforcement as a whole, really began to focus on the mental health of its own officers. Thanks to our Chief, my own department began a peer support group and we began to talk to each other about our everyday issues. I began to realize that everyone has a variety of stresses in their own lives and no issue, no matter how big; is a game ender. This group has really changed my outlook on expressing myself and has helped me on a variety of occasions. The weird thing that no one ever really talked about has become something that people can have an open conversation about.

With a large number of new officers being hired; I am happy to know that having this type of conversation and knowing that it is ok to ask for help will not be overlooked.

Movember cares about men’s health, and I will always appreciate that.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, or needs emotional support we urge you to head to for crisis support options. To speak with someone immediately, contact your local 24-hour support service.