(CBS Detroit)– A new Michigan survey showcases that Michigan Department of Corrections workers are suffering from PTSD, anxiety, depression, suicide, and alcohol abuse far higher than those in general population. The survey also demonstrates that Michigan corrections workers suffer at a higher rate from PTSD, anxiety, depression, suicide, and alcohol abuse more than police and firefighters.
The $50,000 study by Desert Waters Correctional Outreach of Colorado was based largely on anonymous surveys sent to all of the department’s more than 12,000 employees. Department-wide estimates were calculated based on answers from the 29% of employees who responded.
Among the findings:
- Just under one in four employees, or 24%, meet criteria for post traumatic stress disorder, the study found. Symptoms can include irritability, anger, aggression, and trouble sleeping. National rates are 3.5% for the general population, 2.5% for the military, and 10% for first responders such as police officers or firefighters, the study said. The highest rates were 41% for custody staff in male prisons and 31% for custody staff in the women’s prison.
- One in six department employees have symptoms consistent with “major depressive disorder,” with the highest rate of this condition — 24% — found among custody staff at men’s prisons. The rate for custody staff in Michigan’s only women’s prison was 13%, and it was 12% at department headquarters, the study found. The national average is 6.7%, and first responders such as police and firefighters average 21.4%.
- About 140 employees are currently and actively planning to commit suicide
- Nearly half — or 49% — of all department employees have medium or high anxiety levels consistent with general anxiety disorder. National rates of generalized anxiety range between 3% and 5% for civilians and military. The highest rates in the Michigan Department of Corrections were among custody staff at male prisons (60%), and custody staff at the women’s prison (51%).
- About one in five employees, or 19%, exhibit symptoms of alcohol abuse, compared to 7% in the general population, 1.5% in the military, and 9% among first responders. The highest rate was among custody staff at men’s prisons, where it was 26%, while custody staff at the women’s prison and managers and supervisors at headquarters were tied at 16%
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