Being a Border Patrol Agent is both mentally and physically stressful. Part of the problem is the ups and downs in activity experienced at the border. Agents who used to process 150 people a day have seen those numbers reduced due to new border control technology. This development has resulted in generally monotonous days with intermittent spikes of intense activity. In fact, many agents complain of the boring nature of the work. Part of their job is sitting alone 12 hours at a time watching the fence. It gives them plenty of time to think about other things going on in their lives.
To respond to the growing numbers of agents that have succumbed to the stress, the Border Patrol has begun providing special training for supervisors. In addition, there are peer support programs within the Border Patrol that are available to agents.