Michigan Prison Workers Face Higher Risk of Stress Disorder, suicidal Thoughts

July 15, 2019, 11:45 AM


Compared to the general population, Michigan Department of Corrections workers face a higher likelihood of battling Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, suicidal thoughts, major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and alcohol abuse, according to a nonprofit group's research. 

The study by Desert Waters Correctyional Outreach, done in partnership with Michigan's pirsons agency, involved an anonymous survey of workers  between Dec. 5, 2018 and Jan. 12, 2019, according to a press release. The survey was conducted to help improve wellness and reduce suicides among workers.

About 3,500 employees, including corrections officers, field agents and administrative staff, completed the survey. They identified a number of stressors, including exposure to traumatic events, lack of adequate work life balance, insufficient communication, staff discipline, staffing levels, and inadequate benefits for staff, such as mental health support. 

“While we cannot entirely remove the challenges associated with working in a correctional environment, we can, and will, work to establish a culture of wellness that seeks to reduce stress,” Corrections Director Heidi Washington said in a statement.

“This study underscores the importance of steps we have taken to improve staff wellness and we will continue to build upon those efforts to become a healthier organization.”


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