A retired Wisconsin police officer is giving back to the law enforcement community by providing mental health and counseling services to first responders.
Former Appleton Police Officer Ignacio Enriquez, who worked in law enforcement for 15 years, is bringing his experience in that profession to his new consulting firm, Ascent Consulting, to help officers overcome mental health issues.
The goal of the company is to help first responders with their mental health by providing a variety of resources and counseling services. According to its website, Ascent Consulting offers mental health wellness assessments, critical incident stress debriefing, relationship counseling, crisis communications training, resilience and stress management training, and other officer wellness services.
During his time in law enforcement, Enriquez worked as a behavioral health officer and a member of the Appleton Police Department’s negotiation team.
“It was humbling. I learned a lot not only about the profession, but I learned a lot about myself, what it means to be a member of the community and an advocate at the same time,” Enriquez told Spectrum News 1 about his time in law enforcement.
Now, Enriquez has shifted from helping the public to helping the law enforcement community. “Now, I primarily focus on helping other first responders or law enforcement officers with their own mental wellbeing,” he said.
The former officer obtained a master’s degree in professional counseling from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh to help make the career switch, and is licensed by the state as a professional counselor.
“I truly believe that in my heart that I can now provide other resources to folks who are in law enforcement or other first responders in a way that hopefully, I can highlight the beautiful and greatness that they possess so they can find their better person,” Enriquez said.
“I want to continue to save lives. I want to continue to essentially be the spark of hope for many people,” he added.