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Lebanon police officer shares experience with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posted at 8:47 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-24 20:47:22-04

LEBANON, Ind. – A Lebanon police officer responded to a scene she will never forget.

Taylor Nielsen said she remembers the gruesome crime scene well – a 31-year-old mother and her 4-year-old son had been fatally shot in Zionsville in February 2016.

Nielsen said the incident left her with a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"I started having nightmares and flashbacks, triggers. I felt like I was alone the entire battle. It was hard. Really hard,” said Nielsen.

She said her condition worsened to the point where she wanted to take her own life.

"I would think, you know what, I'll just get in a big old car wreck, not come out of it, no one would ever know it was suicide. That's how it kind of started to snowball,” she said. “As officers, we're supposed to be strong, we're supposed to not cry, we're supposed to not get angry. And the fact of the matter is we're human."

On October 15, 2016, two of Nielsen’s friends and an officer found her in a field, where she attempted to take her own life.

Nielsen and her father Mike, who is the Boone County Sheriff, said they support Sens. Joe Donnelly and Todd Young who have advocated for mental health services for law enforcement.

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The two lawmakers spoke in support of the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act on Monday. The bill would direct the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to develop more mental health resources for officers.

Nielson said she is thankful to be alive and doesn’t plan to leave the force anytime soon.

"I love my job,” she said. “I love my job, I wouldn't trade it for the world."

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