‘A Big Impact’: SLCPD Peer Support Group Helps Break the Mental Health Stigma

‘A Big Impact’: SLCPD Peer Support Group Helps Break the Mental Health Stigma

“He was there for me,” Nichols says. Derrick Pyles, Coordinator for the Peer Support Group, showed up on the banks of the river to offer support. ‘Divine intervention’: Complete stranger helps save BYU football player from over 2,000 miles away

Nichols says he blamed himself for a lot of different things that happened that night, but it also marked a turning point for him. He was introduced to the department’s Peer Support Group. “I ended up dropping all my gear and jumping in the water in an attempt to save the kids’ lives. The two-year-old was still trapped in the vehicle at that time and the mom was out of the vehicle, and it was a really, really difficult incident,” Nichols tells ABC4. “There were lives lost that night, and it really had a huge impact on me that it kind of put me in a bit of a dark place.”

Woman says UPD’s Mental Health Unit is keeping her loved one alive Get Utah’s latest news sent to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to the free ABC4 daily newsletter.

Salt Lake City Police Department officially began their Peer Support Program in 2003, but it really began to take off after the department suffered two officer deaths by suicide in 2012, Pyles says. The group’s purpose is for its members is to provide support and move their peers who need it toward resources. What is SLCPD’s Peer Support Group?

“Just having those coworkers show up for me made such a huge impact on me and my healing process after the traumatic incident, and so I decided that I wanted to be there…,” he says. “I decided that I wanted to be there for my brothers and sisters in blue because I know the impact that it had on my life for them showing up for me. I was able to go through a proper healing process, get the resources I needed, and get my life back on track because it was a hard thing to cope with.” As he was driving home that night, Nichols says he got a call from another peer support officer. The next morning, another officer from the peer support group showed up at his door to check on him.

The News Highlights

  • ‘A Big Impact’: SLCPD Peer Support Group Helps Break the Mental Health Stigma
  • Check the latest Health news updates and information about health.
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