How do you approach mental health in law enforcement? A Palm Beach County deputy sheriff says to standardize it and make it part of the Thanksgiving tradition.
On the basketball court at Lake Lytal Park, you’ll find a group of friends who traditionally spend their Thanksgiving.
“Most of the time they have work, they can’t go out and have fun and play a little basketball,” said John Dieujuse. “We all go to the same church – the new church of the Nazarene, and that’s what we do about every year.”
And a few blocks away, there are law enforcement visible with flashing lights: Public safety is a big part of Thanksgiving Day tradition.
“In law enforcement, the challenge is to be able to share completely and to be open and honest about how you feel without being tagged,” said Cheryl Melvin, PBSO’s Deputy Sheriff and Founder of Sincere 2000.
The Melvin Foundation raises awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. It is named in honor of Melvin’s son, Sincere, who committed suicide in 2018. For more information, click here.
“You know, every Thanksgiving that you meet around the table, we talk about the things we’re grateful for, but the one thing we always tend to forget is our sanity,” Melvin said. “We all face it.”
For the first time on November 25, more than 400 MPs and PBSO service staff received books and brochures on depression, suicide prevention, and internal and external law enforcement stress.
“Sometimes it’s not medicine. Sometimes it’s just a conversation and so that’s what we’re trying to raise awareness about, ”said Unique Melvin, co-founder of Sincere 2000.“ It’s bigger than Thanksgiving. It’s global. It’s something. something that needs to be recognized in different parts of the world. around the world. “
The foundation has also teamed up with Big Heart Brigade. Volunteers cooked a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for hundreds of people, making it a day to care for the mind, body and soul.
“Without these men and women who keep our community safe – protect us, I wouldn’t imagine life without them,” said Chuck Dettman, secretary / treasurer of the Big Heart Brigade. “Who in our community needs help and that’s what Big Heart is? “
The Melvins want to get their message across to area schools, churches and job sites to better normalize mental health and further break down stigma. To learn more, click here.
To learn more about Big Hear Brigade’s efforts, click here or to support their mission, text Turkey2021 at 202-858-1233.