Dr. Lisa Jackson-Cherry received the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Military and Government Counseling Association last month at the American Counseling Association Convention in Atlanta. She was recognized for her commitment to improving the well-being of first responders and their families through her service, research, education and clinical practice.
Though theyre in high stress jobs, Jackson-Cherry said first responders are often reluctant to discuss mental health or seek treatment. Its a stigma shes worked to combat throughout her career.
Of the awards that Ive received, this is the one that means the most, said Jackson-Cherry, chair of Marymount Universitys Department of Counseling. Ive always had a high respect for law enforcement.
Growing up, she had close family members in both the military and law enforcement. Her husband is a police officer, her first masters degree was in criminal justice, and she worked in correctional settings and with law enforcement communities in various roles. During National Police Week she has counseled children who lost a parent in law enforcement. She has also worked as a mobile crisis director, a residential high school counselor and has provided training for those in law enforcement.
Military deployment and law enforcement are very similar in the trauma they are exposed to while in their careers, except law enforcement deployments are daily, with careers that can last for 20 or 30 years, she said, adding that many in the public dont realize the jobs dangers.
Post traumatic stress, substance abuse, and suicide are common.
Of the 135 officers killed in the line of duty last year, 58 of the deaths were intentional killings, she said. Each year, more than 48,000 law enforcement officers are victims of assault, resulting in various degrees of injuries.
Marymount University is an independent, coeducational Catholic university offering bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in a wide range of disciplines. For more information, visit marymount.edu.
Dr. Lisa Jackson-Cherry is pictured with Tom Watson, president of the Military and Government Counseling Association, who presented her with the organizations 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.