DHS provides suicide prevention app for employees after border patrol chief reports low morale

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is offering an app to employees aimed at suicide prevention.

The app is customized for DHS employees and utilizes the Columbia Protocol, developed by Columbia University to help identify those at risk of ending their own lives.

A DHS spokesperson told Fox News that they are committed to the mental health and well-being of all of their employees and that the Columbia Protocol Suicide Prevention Mobile Application is one of several employee resources available to their workforce. DHS also offers resources dealing with nutrition and physical fitness.

This comes at a time when there is particular concern over the emotional state of employees. In February, U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said that “morale is certainly going to be a challenge for us.”

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas at the airport in El Paso, Texas, on June 25, 2021.
(Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Border Patrol officials have been tasked with dealing with surges of migrants crossing the southern border. This is expected to increase as President Biden plans to lift Title 42, which provides officials with greater ability to deport illegal immigrants due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We are expecting to get wrecked,” one Border Patrol agent told Fox News.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., called the move a “frightening decision.”

During the migrant surges, border agents have also had to face attacks from the media and the White House.

Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Nov. 16, 2021, in Washington. 
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Images of agents on horseback using split reins were misidentified by Democratic lawmakers as whipping migrants in September. After the photographer who took a widely-circulated photo of this stated that “nobody saw a Border Patrol agent whipping,” President Biden still put pressure on the besieged agents by repeating the false claims and previewing what he hoped would be the outcome of the investigation.

“To see people treated like they did, horses barely running over, people being strapped – it’s outrageous,” Biden said, making a whipping motion with his hand

“I promise you, those people will pay,” he said, referring to front-line Border Patrol agents. “There will be an investigation underway now and there will be consequences. There will be consequences.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sided with agents, stating last week that if any U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials face “adverse action” as a result of that investigation, he would offer them jobs.

Fox News’ Sally Persons, Adam Shaw, and Peter Hasson contributed to this report.

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