2 US cops, working and living together, kill themselves, leaving infant son an orphan
Two US law enforcement officers - a couple with a baby - killed themselves over the past week.
The Florida community they served was left in shock and questions were once again raised about officers’ stress levels and mental health.
Sheriff’s deputy Clayton Osteen, 24, a former US marine, attempted suicide on New Year’s eve, just before midnight, and was taken to hospital with injuries.
He was off duty at the time.
On Sunday (Jan 2) his family “made the very difficult decision to remove him from life support”, said a statement from the St Lucie County Sheriff's Office.
Two days later, fellow deputy Victoria Pacheco, with whom he had a one-month-old son named Jayce, also took her life, Sheriff Ken Mascara said in the statement on Tuesday.
"As sheriff, I saw these two deputies as young, ambitious, and a great compliment to my already amazing group of professionals.”
Law enforcement officers face stress not only in their own lives but also in the lives of those they serve, he wrote.
"While it is impossible for us to fully comprehend the private circumstances leading up to this devastating loss, we pray that this tragedy becomes a catalyst for change… to help ease the stigma surrounding mental well-being and normalize the conversation about the challenges so many of us face on a regular basis.”
The local community has come together to support baby Jayce, using social media and a crowdfunding effort.
National Care Hotline: 1800-202-6868 (8am - midnight)
Institute of Mental Health's Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222 (24 hours)
Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444 (24 hours)
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
Silver Ribbon Singapore: 6386-1928
Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788 and www.tinklefriend.sg
Community Health Assessment Team: 6493-6500/1 and www.chat.mentalhealth.sg
TOUCHline (Counselling): 1800-377-2252
TOUCH Care Line (for seniors, caregivers): 6804-6555
Care Corner Counselling Centre: 1800-353-5800