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A mental health program for police officers is now available statewide

A closeup of the patch on an Arlington police officer uniform.
Yfat Yossifor
A closeup of the patch on an Arlington police officer uniform.

This story discusses data related to mental health. For resources and support, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, or text HOME to 741741 to connect to the Crisis Text Line.

The Blue Chip program, which provides free mental health resources for law enforcement officers, is expanding statewide. Police chiefs across North Texas say that programs that address diseases like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses could save officers' lives.

The latest numbers released by the Blue Chip Program in 2022 show that 16 Texas law enforcement officers died by suicide. That’s more than any other state that year. The Blue Chip program aims to reduce those numbers by opening up lines of communication for officers to process traumatic events and connect with other officers.

A similar program launched by the Arlington Police Department was introduced to support police officers following last year's shooting at an Allen outlet mall. That program, in conjunction with the Blue Chip Program, makes Texas the only state to offer law enforcement officers a peer support network and the option to reach out anonymously for free mental health services.

Born in London, Morning Producer and Podcast Host Katherine Hobbs has lived across the U.S. since 2001. Prior to joining KERA, she produced three podcasts for WJCT Public Media and Florida Public Media and wrote for Jacksonville Magazine, Autism Parenting Magazine and EU Jacksonville, among others. Katherine is thrilled to return to Texas after briefly living in Austin to share the stories that impact our North Texas community. When she’s not working, Katherine can be found admiring public libraries and visiting penguin colonies around the world.