Do you want to start or enhance a police wellness program in your small law enforcement agency?
What do you say when the public and media ask: how do police officers stay healthy and fit for the job?
Small law enforcement agencies deserve the best possible wellness initiatives to keep their people physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually fit.
For small agencies, usually with less than twenty-five employees, paying for training, both in time and money, can be daunting. It’s hard to get everyone together for a class and then sometimes that information is lost without regular reinforcement.
What would you say if I told you that for less than $300 you can harness the makings of a full wellness system and get started immediately. The scheduling, implementation and reinforcement are totally within your control and it will create the foundation for a life-long learning experience for your people.
The Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) is launching a series of short Resilience Building Challenges to expose you to new ideas about resilience enhancement from a group of experts within our wellness field, and specifically targeted to benefit emergency responders. So whether you want to armor your Self, build your emotional survival skills, your spiritual survival skills or just want to learn new and simple ways to add resilience building techniques to your life, we’ve got something for you. I believe that the police need to be more resilient!
Are you in?
Here is the first LESI Mini Resilience Building Challenge:
Topic: Building Resilience Using Awe
Title: Try an “Awe Walk”
The Oxford Dictionary defines awe as: a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.
Law Enforcement Survival Institute Associate Director Eric Potterat, PhD has just announced the pre-release of his book Learned Excellence with co-author Alan Eagle the former Managing Director, Sales and Executive Communications at Google, Inc.
Learn how to perform at your very best, from the psychologist who has advised elite military operators, Olympic medalists, big wave surfers, neurosurgeons, cliff divers, first responders, Cirque du Soleil acrobats, professional athletes and coaches, Fortune 500 business executives, and CIA analysts.
Learned Excellence is a comprehensive and practical guide to the mental disciplines of high performance, from the expert who developed the US Navy SEALs mental toughness curriculum and has worked with thousands of top athletes, elite military personnel, business executives, and first responders.
Is Your Agency Just Dabbling in Law Enforcement Wellness?
There are three reasons why most law-enforcement wellness programs aren’t making their people healthier, safer nor more professional. First, they’re not comprehensive enough. Second, they’re not doing anything more than just adding new training programs and creating more “flavor of the month” initiatives. Third, they are not investing time in their people, but rather using “band-aid” measures to try and fix complex problems.
EDITORS NOTE:The Law Enforcement Survival Institute was approached by The University of Colorado Colorado Springs School of Public Affairs about promoting a new research project investigating the concept of moral injury within law enforcement. The findings from this project entitled: Advancing Officer Wellness: A Study of On-Duty Experiences and their Impacts among Law Enforcement Professionals, can be used to raise awareness of officer’s experiences and to develop programming that supports officer wellness. The Law Enforcement Survival Institute wholeheartedly supports this very interesting research and we encourage you to investigate further, join the project, and help us spread the word to others.
Here’s some information to get you started and you can connect with the links below:
Purpose Statement: In light of the stresses of police work, recent years have brought heightened attention to the tolls of the job on individual officers. These can include illness, mental and behavioral health challenges, and even suicide. There is thus a strong push for proactive efforts to advance health, wellness, and resilience among officers. This study seeks to support and advance those efforts.
Background: Policing professionals face traumatic and morally injurious events in the line of duty. the effects of trauma and moral injury can include posttraumatic stress, depression, anxiety, suicidality, substance misuse, spiritual and religious struggle, and more. This study is an important step in bolstering resilience among those working in the policing profession. Findings can be used to raise awareness of officer’s experiences and to develop programming that supports officer wellness…
EDITORS NOTE:Earlier in the year we created a Trends Report for some of our clients and now would like to make it available to everyone who reads CopsAlive.com. While some of the statistics might be getting a little dated, the trends are holding strong. Please add your comments in the box at the bottom of the article.
CLICK HERE if you would like to download an executive summary of this report.
There are a number of negative forces at work on the law enforcement profession right now that have never had such a powerful influence. These factors at their face value are menacing but it is the lesser seen damage that is truly hurting our profession, and its people, right now. What’s worst is that these effects will ripple through our industry for years to come.
The Law Enforcement Survival Institute has identified five trends in law enforcement and policing that are causing major shifts in the way we mobilize our personnel and provide our services. This report does not focus on the CAUSE of these trends but rather the EFFECTS these trends have on the well-being and performance of law enforcement personnel.
Some have labelled these trends as critical issues and others have called them a crisis. This report is not intended to get you to focus on these five discouraging trends but rather… Continue reading
Choosing and Change by new CopsAlive Contributor
Tammy Featherstone, Sgt. (retired)
Growing up in a strict, conservative, Southern Baptist home came with many challenges. In addition, I was not a conventional girl. I loved being outdoors, playing sports and “rough housing”. I realized early on I didn’t view things the same way my parents did. My father was misogynistic and reminded my sister and I, more frequently than I care to remember, that he was the “head of the house”. I challenged my father quite a bit growing up. It didn’t work out so well for me. I can’t explain the feeling of being a small child and being hit by a grown man.
Affecting Social Change In The Way We Train Police Officers
Current news reports are increasingly rife with stories about communities clashing with their police departments as a result of excessive force and police misconduct. At the same time, law enforcement agencies are concerned with PTSD, police officer suicides, increased incidence of illnesses amongst police officers, lower than normal life expectancy, depression, domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse and ethical compromise.
All these problems stem from the same root causes: A career in law enforcement presents challenges to the human spirit, and the pressures of the career deplete officers in a way that is unique to law enforcement.
Officers experiences endless exposure to danger, stress and tragedy, which depletes their reserves of idealism, motivation and personal resilience. Without effective ways to replenish the human spirit, build resilience and restore ethical clarity, it is possible to reach a state of personal “overdraft” or,… Continue reading
EDITORS NOTE: Guest contributor Sean Peterson is a patrolman with the Taunton Police Department in Southeastern Massachusetts and a member of the regional Critical Incident Stress Management team. He is also the owner and performance director at Chaos Fitness.
I sat down to write this in the wake of New York City Police Department’s ninth suicide this year. The current Blue H.E.L.P. statistics stand at 131 suicides on the year, with four months to go. Protesters are literally begging police to commit suicide in Portland, Oregon. With what feels like everyone and everything against us, how do we rise above the darkness? Below I have outlined some thoughts and ideas surrounding mental and physical health we first responders can easily employ in such trying times.
A Physical and Mental Approach
“Combat” or “Square” Breathing
Here’s the simple process…
1. Intently breath in with strong focus- slowly counting 1, 2, 3, 4
2. hold that breath counting 1, 2, 3 ,4
3. slowly and consistently exhale that breath 1, 2, 3, 4
Simply put, combat/square breathing is an effective way to calm the nervous system. It is a very basic introduction to the world of mindfulness, creating space between ourselves and our reactions. It brings our focus to the present moment by concentrating our attention on our breathing, allowing us to slow things down for a while, so our bodies can catch up. Consider implementing this technique to offset the adrenaline spikes and stressors associated with hot calls, inter-department nonsense and the obstacles of everyday life. The beauty of this technique is… Continue reading
Recently, we were in Washington D.C. attending a banquet called Honoring the Service of Law Enforcement Officers Who Died by Suicide. This first time banquet was held in conjunction with National Police Week and was sponsored by BLUE H.E.L.P. Its purpose was to honor and recognize the service of offices who made that fateful decision and their survivors. It is Blue HELP’s mission to put names and faces to the men and women of Law Enforcement whose emotional injuries become too much to bear. Although the number of Law Enforcement personnel who take their own lives typically exceeds… Continue reading
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