(This is PART TWO in series of PTSD – What Is it? by Robert Rabe) CLICK HERE to read Part 1
EDITORS NOTE: the following is a guest post from Robert Rabe a Vietnam Veteran who also has 39 Years of Law Enforcement Experience.
Every critical incident has similarities, and everyone is different. And every law enforcement officer’s reaction is individual to them as well. Some officers go through the process of integrating the experience into their psyche without difficulty. Usually this is with the help of others (peer group counseling,debriefings). It is difficult to do it alone. But what can the family possibly do to help the officer? The family can make sure that nothing is missed,especially, if medication is needed. But sometimes medication or even intervention isn’t good enough. Needless to say, if the officer has turned to becoming sullen and melancholy, they are a different person than before the critical incident and onset of PTSD. At this point, the family becomes the secondary victim, and loyalty is tested. The spouse,the children can suffer from secondary PTSD, which is not widely discussed in the mainstream media. Secondary PTSD, while not recognized with diagnostic criteria, is based on the concept, that…
At the Law Enforcement Survival Institutewe define “Blue Trauma Syndrome” as a spectrum of negative physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health-effects manifested by a career in law enforcement. Blue trauma syndrome most certainly has it’s roots in large or cumulative doses of negative occupational stress and manifests many negative physiological, mental, emotional and spiritual symptoms.
Stress makes for an interesting enemy. You can’t see it, you can’t touch it and most times you can’t even describe it. But it is there, and it attacks us every day. We must defend ourselves and armor ourselves from it’s effects otherwise a careers worth of battle fatigue will overtake all of us. I know that I am speaking in generalities here but I think a proper amount of introspection will reveal this is true for the vast majority of us.
Now you can read all the research that’s out there (and there isn’t enough) on the effect stress has on law enforcement officers but it still doesn’t give us enough information about what stresses will get to us. Part of the problem is because the same stress will affect each officer differently and it’s…
Breaking the Silence of Police Suicide
by Trish Buchanan
Please take five minutes of your time to consider, and then do something to stop police officer suicides in 5 easy steps.
1.Start with this short 4 minute video that was created by Trish Buchanan who is the widow of East Hartford Connecticut Police Officer Paul S. Buchanan, a dedicated police officer for almost 24 years and, who sadly took his own life in his police department March 12, 2013. Please take 4 minutes to watch this video.
2.Then CLICK HERE to download our free CopsAlive.com roll-call discussion guide…
At the conference, being held at the Chicago Westin Yorktown Center, we will host four breakout sessions and one group panel discussion to draw ideas and create a basic curriculum for future distribution.
In addition to the input from hundreds of ILEETA members we also need your input. We want your ideas, tips, best practices, research and any input that you believe would be helpful or should be included within a basic training program on wellness for law enforcement professionals.
Can You Quiet Your Mind? For law enforcement professionals the importance of being able to quiet your mind is critical as the thoughts, ideas, plans and excessive noise in our heads can become overwhelming. Even in their more mild expressions these thoughts can keep us from being focused, attentive, alert and might disturb our sleep. The profession of law enforcement can be quite toxic and contributes many direct threats to your mental and emotional well-being, not to mention your spiritual health. Things like poverty, tragedy, trauma, death and destruction can be overwhelming and thoughts about these things blend with your everyday thoughts to contribute lots of noise in your mind. Your ability to control and “quiet” that noise might become a very valuable tool in the challenge for you to be able to stay alive or to even survive a full career. Those in police work need to learn to calm and quiet their minds in order to stay focused, mentally alert, and safe. We are attaching a written procedure for quieting your mind as well as a 10 minute audio recording to guide you…
What does it take to Armor Your Self™ Spiritually?
As we prepare for the Spring 2014 publication of John Marx’ new book: “Armor Your Self™: How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement” we are going to preview some of the information and concepts contained within the Armor Your Self™ book and training program.. This book is meant to provide guidance to all law enforcement professionals and their families about tactics and strategies that can work to protect them and help create a positive quality of life.
The basic premise of this concept is that in order to successfully survive a career in law enforcement one must Armor Your Self™ physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to strengthen and condition your being to guard against the “hidden dangers” of this very toxic profession.
The spiritual component of this self-protective prevention program is one of the most challenging for…
Start the New Year with a Proactive Annual Check In
Police work is tough business and it will eat you up if you don’t care for your “self” physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally in law enforcement is usually NOT something you can do alone. Proper care requires Proactive Peer Support, Psychological Services and Chaplains Programs and other support services to be effective.
Police psychologist Jack Digliani has just produced the 5th Edition of his Police and Sheriff’s Peer Support Team Training Manual which he has always made available for free here on CopsAlive.com. He is also recommending that police officers agencies, and other law enforcement professionals consider doing an Annual Proactive Check-In.
What is a Proactive Annual Check In?
The Proactive Annual Check-In (PAC) provides police officers…
As the Christmas holiday approaches we would like to say thank you and best wishes to all those who work in law enforcement. Here is some of our favorite material that say so much about our career. Enjoy!
First, is this video Former Ohio State Trooper Bob Welsh Shares His Christmas Eve Story and we are sharing it with you with our very best wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Safe Christmas this year!
My Christmas Eve by Bob Welsh
Bob is a retired cop and expert storyteller. He served in the U.S. Navy and had a 30 year career with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
I highly recommend his book: Embers From a Storytellers Mind which is also available as an audio CD. Click Here to visit Bob’s website at BobWelsh.com.
Second, here is our favorite poem from PolicePoems.com about the profession:
On this U.S. holiday for giving thanks we at CopsAlive.com say thank you for your service to all the men and women in law enforcement around the world.
Thank you for your courage.
Thank you for your commitment.
Thank you for your sacrifice.
Law enforcement is a very difficult career and we understand the challenges and adversities you face. We appreciate all of your hard work and dedication.
Gratitude is a very powerful tool. What are you grateful for?
A feeling of gratitude can be created by looking for the good nature of things and events and then by focusing upon the positives. You can create this feeling in yourself and you can use it as a tool to lead others to this awareness
We have assembled a free worksheet on gratitude for you to use this day to examine all the things in your life and career that you are grateful for.
CLICK HERE to download our CopsAlive.com Gratitude Worksheet.
This worksheet was assembled in gratitude for all the men and women in law
enforcement who risk their lives to make our world a better place. Thank you!
The mission of CopsAlive is to save the lives of those who save lives!
Happy Thanksgiving and please Stay Safe and Stay Well!