The Visitor That Would Not Leave

How do you handle that one guest that just will not leave? I recently heard a definition for what trauma is. Trauma was defined as: when you leave the scene, but the scene does not leave you. That definition resonated with me. How many calls did I leave that did not leave me?

I know we all have scenes and calls that have not left us. Some are years old. Some are obvious. The larger scenes and the obviously tragic calls stay with us. It is expected. In my department, certain calls are expected to cause trauma such as an officer involved shooting or a line of duty death.

When something like that happens, peer support is automatically activated and… Continue reading

The Difference Between Spiritual Survival Training and Chaplaincy

Over the past 18 years it has been my privilege to design and provide training for law enforcement officers in Spiritual Survival. My training addresses a very specific aspect of the law enforcement experience: the spiritual dimension. Spiritual Survival training is, I believe, a crucial aspect of training to help officers successfully negotiate the challenges of a law enforcement career. The goal is to help officers recognize and acknowledge the noble idealism and integrity within the human spirit that brings them into the career. It is this human spirit that can keep them devoted to their law enforcement mission, with all its challenges, disappointments and difficulties. My aim is to help them identify the toxins that daily deplete and exhaust their spirit, equip them with tools to nourish and replenish their precious idealism and integrity, and renew their commitment to faithful performance of their law enforcement mission.

Often, when police chiefs hear that I offer training for “Spiritual Survival,” they reassure me that their agencies already have chaplaincy services, so their agencies don’t need the spiritual survival training I offer. That’s when I gently explain that the two support structures, chaplaincy and Spiritual Survival training, are not the same.

Chaplaincy services inspire strong reaction – avid advocates and suspicious detractors. A common story among law enforcement executives tells of a skilled, dedicated chaplain who intervened to save a cop in distress; others regale me with anecdotes of chaplains who overstepped their bounds and trespassed into the realm of proselytizing. But in all cases I unequivocally assure law enforcement executives that Spiritual Survival training is not equivalent to chaplaincy.

Indeed, chaplaincy and Spiritual Survival training both support officers and agencies, and ought to be complementary. But they each have profoundly different goals.

REACTIVE BENEFICIARY OR PROACTIVE PARTICIPANT
The greatest distinction between chaplaincy and Spiritual Survival training is this: Chaplaincy is reactive by its nature, whereas Spiritual Survival training is proactive. Even more significant is the fact that officers who receive chaplaincy services are… Continue reading

PTSD Awareness Day June 2017

Today is PTSD Awareness Day 2017 and June is PTSD Awareness Month here in the United States. Law enforcement officers can experience overwhelming issues of cumulative stress and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder known as PTSD. We need to start taking care of each other. Continue reading

Armor Your Self and Build Tactical Resilience

The Law Enforcement Survival Institute is proud to announce the release of John Marx’s new book: Armor Your Self™: How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement.

The book helps law enforcement professionals armor themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually in order to build Tactical Resilience™.

This book also provides guidance and support for law enforcement family members to use in order to learn how to help their family survive that career in policing.

This book is about “Saving the Lives of the People Who Save Lives”

Police work is the most toxic job on the planet, and if the members of the law enforcement community don’t take measures to protect themselves, this job will eat them up!

If law enforcement officers did a true threat assessment of their careers, they would realize that the real dangers lie not with the bad guys, but within the stresses of the job. High rates of suicide, depression, alcoholism, domestic violence, PTSD, heart attack and cancer are the real cop killers.

In this book you will learn about: Continue reading

Free webinar For Men Who Think of Sirens as Driving Music

Free webinar For Men Who Think of Sirens as Driving Music: Addressing the Emotional Needs of First Responders and Public Safety Officials

The Free webinar on Tuesday, April 11th, at 12 noon EST is for Men Who Think of Sirens as Driving Music: Addressing the Emotional Needs of First Responders and Public Safety Officials.

CLICK HERE to register for the webinar

First responders and public safety workers experience repeated exposure to trauma through their work. This can have a lasting impact on mental well-being and puts these men at increased risk. As a result of career-related stress, first responders and public safety workers often face… Continue reading

Diabetes And Law Enforcement

Have you ever wondered how diabetes could affect your job as a police officer or other type of law enforcement professional? I hadn’t either until I came across an interesting article that started me thinking and I wanted to share it with you.

The Mayo Clinic defines Diabetes as “a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is vital to your health because it’s an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues. It’s also your brain’s main source of fuel.”

The article I found was posted on TheDiabetesCouncil.com asked “Can You Join The Police Force If You Have Diabetes?” so I read further and found it very interesting. Here is an except with some interesting thoughts from our friends at TheDiabetesCouncil.com

“Do diabetes and law enforcement mix, or does having diabetes disqualify one from working in law enforcement?

Although having diabetes should not disqualify you from working as a law enforcement officer, the nature of the occupation would require… Continue reading

Stop Law Enforcement Suicides Now!

Man Therapy-Suicide Warning SignsSeptember is National Suicide Prevention Month and this week is Suicide Prevention Week. Let’s stem the tide of law enforcement officer suicides together. Watch for these signs and learn more from our partners at mantherapy.org

Man Therapy is a tongue-in-cheek website to get men and especially first-responders to talk about and deal with the traumas they face.  Follow them on the Man Therapy Social Channels
On Facebook at www.facebook.com/ManTherapy and on Twitter – @DrRichMahogany

Do you have a suicide prevention program in your agency?

Well, you no longer have an excuse for not having a program. With a video produced by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Working Minds Program and the Carson J Spencer Foundation, and our CopsAlive.com roll call discussion guide you can create a ready made program the moment you finish reading this page. Get all the resources you need for free at www.CopsAlive.com/SuicidePrevention

Here Are Some Other Resources To Help You:… Continue reading

Today is PTSD Awareness Day in the United States

PTSDawareness2016graphic

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT PTSD AWARENESS DAY?

We should care about our mental health and the effects of PTSD because law enforcement is a high-risk, high-stress career that exposes all of us to excessive amounts of trauma and tragedy and we ALL need to learn that we can’t cope with all that negative stuff just by surprising it.  Good mental health, like good physical health doesn’t come automatically, you have to work to build strength in both areas and taking care of your emotional Self is as important as taking care of your physical Self.  When you do become injured physically or emotionally it helps if you understand the issues surrounding your injury and know about your treatment options.  Learning about PTSD and other issues that can challenge your mental health can be as important as learning about physical conditions like back injuries and the preventative strategies that can help mitigate those injuries.

In their section on PTSD Basics, the National Center for PTSD operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says “After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is common to have reactions such as upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, or trouble sleeping. If these reactions do not go away or if they get worse, you may have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a… Continue reading

Understanding and Developing Your Emotional & Spiritual Health

Brass_scales_with_flat_trays_balancedEDITORS NOTE: This is a guest posting from Rev. Keith A. Evans who is a Police Chaplain with the Casper Police Department.

Experiencing a great quality of life involves a balance between your physical, your emotional and your spiritual selves. The well-used analogy of a “‘three-legged stool” can be used as a visual image of what happens when one or two legs of your physical-emotional-spiritual selves are not in balance, or maybe not even present. Many people usually give their physical self the majority of attention and the emotional self receives a very small minority of attention. Leaving, more often than not, the spiritual self totally abandoned and without any intentional nurturing.

As this triad of total holistic health becomes more balanced, each leg’s strength or sphere of influence begins to overlap the others. The greater the overlap, the stronger the triad and a person’s resilience to crisis and… Continue reading

New Training Guide to Elevate Suicide Prevention Efforts within the National Law Enforcement Community

SuicidePrevDisGuideCoverNational Partnership Launches Police Suicide Prevention Facilitation Guide

At its highest levels, the national law enforcement community acknowledges suicide prevention as a health and safety priority. In 2012 there were 126 documented suicides of police officers (versus 49 killed by gunfire in the line of duty). In 2013 the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) held a forum called “Breaking the Silence: A National Symposium on Law Enforcement Office Suicide and Mental Health,” and in 2014 the IACP helped develop a video in partnership with the Carson J Spencer Foundation, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and the American Association of Suicidology entitled Breaking the Silence: Suicide Prevention in Law Enforcement (access video here: https://youtu.be/fBJbo7mnnBs). In recognition of Suicide Prevention Month, and as part of an expanded collaborative effort, the partnership is releasing a video facilitation training guide for law enforcement agencies. The guide can be downloaded as a free PDF here:
http://carsonjspencer.org/files/9214/4078/2987/20150817_LE_Video_Guide.pdf

As a law enforcement officer for 30 plus years, the last eight as chief, I recognize the value of sustained, comprehensive and coordinated suicide prevention efforts for… law enforcement agencies. These tools can provide departments with an important first step in opening discussions around the sensitive issue of suicide and mental health,” said Kenosha Police Chief John Morrissey, member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Workplace Task Force. Continue reading