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Smashing the Stigma Around Police Mental Health

It’s not easy for anyone to talk about trauma. But when it comes to the security field, this issue is especially complicated.

Former Police Sergeant Michael Sugrue of Walnut Creek, California opens up about a chilling shooting incident and the psychological aftermath that nearly led to his suicide. Today, Michael is committed to smashing the stigma of mental health in the first responder community, traveling across America to share his story with police departments and the wider public.

In 2022, Michael and nationally renowned psychologist Dr. Shauna Springer teamed up to publish Relentless Courage: Winning the Battle Against Frontline Trauma in which Michael shares his intimate struggles and the ultimate lessons he learned for the benefit of the first responder community. Each chapter also contains a wealth of insights from Shauna who specializes in psychological trauma and healing in the security field.

We can’t ignore the dire reality that more first responders are dying by suicide than in the line of duty. The people who dedicate their lives to save others deserve to have their lives saved as well. Michael and Shauna tell the story that has been hidden in plain sight for years, sharing hard-earned wisdom to help bridge the gap between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve, while encouraging those who are struggling to reach out for help.

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About Jessica Lauren Walton: Jessica is a communications strategist, video producer, and writer in the U.S. defense sector. She has written articles on a range of security and mental health topics and conducted interviews with military leadership, CIA officers, law enforcement, psychologists, filmmakers, and more. Jessica recently completed her memoir about her experience as an American woman struggling with mental illness while trying to get into Israeli intelligence.

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