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FOP Wellness November 2020

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November 2020 Edition Fraternal Order of Police Wellness Services Fighting Burnout and Compassion Fatigue 2020 National Fraternal Order of Police

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In Memory Michael Violette 1946 2020 On October 16 the National Officer Wellness Committee lost a dedicated and honored member We will never forget his devotion to this Order or his dedication to the wellness of his brothers and sisters in blue

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November 2020 Edition 701 Marriott Dr Nashville TN 37214 615 399 0900 or 800 451 2711 Fax 615 399 0400 Sherri Martin Director of Wellness Services SherriMartin fop net National Executive Board Patrick Yoes President Joe Gamaldi Vice President Jimmy Holderfield Secretary Tom Penoza Treasurer Les Neri 2nd Vice President Keith Turney Sgt at Arms Rob Pride Chairman of Trustees 701 Marriott Dr Wellness Committee Nashville TN Sherri37214 Martin Chair Bourret 615 Darrin 399 0900 or Michael Haley 800 451 2711 Sean Harper Fax 615 399 0400 Brian Nanavaty Corey Nooner Mike Violette If you are feeling tired of the challenges of the job the first step is to determine whether this feeling is short term or is potentially leading to burnout Gauge where you are in your level of satisfaction with your work Awareness is the beginning that may help you reclaim purpose and positive feelings about the sacrifices you make each day www fop net

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IN As the National Officer Wellness Committee builds the Power In Peers curriculum in law enforcement peer support we would like to hear from our members who will be served by this effort Let your voice be heard in this quick 4 question poll https www surveymonkey com r PowerInPeers www fop net

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By Thomas E Coghlan PsyD ret NYPD Detective Member NYS Lodge 957 Blue Line Psychological Services PLLC Continued www fop net

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November 2020 Edition Preventing Burnout Viewing officer wellness as a hire to retire issue is shortsighted Doing so views the officer as an employee instead of as an entire person with multiple life roles numerous aspects to their identities and an entire life beyond retirement from policing Truly effective wellness strategies are those which focus not just on the limited scope of fostering a healthier employee to reduce negative outcomes in police work i e reducing absenteeism reducing citizen complaints increasing productivity etc but on the wider lens of improving the overall health and wellness throughout the officer s life span i e improving levels of health and happiness encouraging adaptive over maladaptive coping skills fostering optimism engaging in good self care etc Part of such an overall wellness strategy involves helping officers identify and prevent negative outcomes such as burnout and compassion fatigue Although similar burnout and compassion fatigue differ in important ways Despite their differences both have negative consequences to an officer s overall physical health and mental wellness Both are associated for example with cynicism demoralization a factor of depression and reduced resiliency all predictors of poor overall wellness Both are also insidious and toxic in nature and may go unnoticed as they develop gradually over time The first step in preventing both burnout and compassion fatigue is to understand what they are learn how to recognize them and how to address them both Continued www fop net

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November 2020 Edition Preventing Burnout Burnout is not limited to policing but it is prevalent in policing One can burn out in any profession but the high stakes demands and critical incident response inherent to policing make burnout a particularly problematic concern Burnout tends to be a product of three combined experiences physical and or mental exhaustion a state of callousness or depersonalization and a low sense of achievement and satisfaction in the work Each of these develops slowly over time Exhaustion is the experience of having more demands than resources and we can become physically mentally and emotionally exhausted over time in police work It is a state of having no gas left in the tank to handle the many demands of policing Depersonalization is a callous impersonal indifference to others in which the burned out officer comes to see others more as objects than as human beings and becomes apathetic to the work Reciprocity or a return on investment of one s energy and efforts is positively correlated with satisfaction and achievement When reciprocity from the community or the agency is low job satisfaction and sense of achievement are both reduced Taken together these three insidious experiences exhaustion depersonalization low sense of achievement combine to create burnout resulting in a state of global apathy to police work Burnout is associated with low satisfaction and early departure increased attrition from policing www fop net Continued

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November 2020 Edition Preventing Burnout While burnout can be conceptualized as becoming apathetic to the job compassion fatigue can be conceptualized as becoming apathetic to the victims to the community to those we serve and who need us the most These are similar but different in burnout we become indifferent to the job while in compassion fatigue we become indifferent to others especially those in need The negative effects of compassion fatigue include low or lack of empathy an indifference toward victims or those in need a lack of concern for others a general sense of apathy toward the community and negative attributions of others Turgoose and Maddox define compassion fatigue as the negative effects of working in a psychologically distressing environment on a person s ability to feel compassion for others Compassion fatigue is often found among workers from many helping professions hospice workers nurses psychotherapists police officers social workers emergency medical technicians clergy etc Regardless of profession compassion fatigue can negatively impact the quality and efficacy of professional services as well as the quality of the professional s personal life In burnout one loses their drive to do their job while in compassion fatigue one loses their empathy for those they serve and after time for others in general The above definition highlights one of the important distinctions between burnout and compassion fatigue that while both Continued www fop net

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November 2020 Edition Preventing Burnout are insidious state effects burnout stems from long term occupational demands and organizational stress i e shift work and irregular days off mandatory overtime punitive policies autocratic style coupled with perceived low reciprocity whereas compassion fatigue stems from operational stress such as exposure to traumatic material and what psychologists refer to as secondary traumatic stress a k a vicarious trauma professional traumatic exposure For example consider a hypothetical officer who routinely performs high numbers of calls for service and critical response Over time this officer responds to numerous calls for opioid overdoses in which multiple NarCan saves occur and the officer bears witness multiple times to both opioid fatalities and saves This officer potentially becomes indifferent and apathetic to such calls and to the person in need losing the ability to feel empathy for the overdosed opioid user and seeing the person in need as more of a depersonalized object and less of a human being This sort of apathetic response is typical of the compassion fatigued officer Once developed we leave neither burnout nor compassion fatigue in our lockers at end of tour We take them home with us to our families our friends our loved ones and others in our lives They destroy our relationships impact our health and reduce our happiness They follow us well beyond retirement For this reason a truly effective wellness strategy Continued www fop net

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November 2020 Edition Preventing Burnout will focus on preventing both burnout and compassion fatigue before they run their insidious route through an officer s life Recognizing the signs of both burnout and compassion fatigue is an important first step in reducing negative life outcomes and improving overall health wellness and happiness Thomas Coghlan is a licensed Clinical Psychologist a retired NYPD Detective and a past Visiting Law Enforcement Fellow with the International Association of Chiefs of Police He operates a private practice in Great Neck NY where he exclusively treats police officers and their families and also conducts appeal evaluations for psychological disqualifications He is the New York Area Clinician for the Drug Enforcement Administration s Employee Assistance Program as well as an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at John Jay College He conducts both psychological pre employment and fitness for duty evaluations for a variety of public safety agencies in New York and New Jersey Dr Coghlan received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Yeshiva University in 2010 his Master s Degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay CUNY in 2003 and his B A in Psychology from Queens College in 1993 He retired from the NYPD in 2018 after twenty one years of service From 2010 through 2018 Dr Coghlan was assigned with responsibilities as a Psychologist in the NYPD During that time he performed psychological fitness for duty evaluations pre employment psychological evaluations military deployment debriefings disciplinary stress triage debriefings and trauma response He served as liaison to the Department s peer support program He is licensed in the states of New York and New Jersey Dr Coghlan is credentialed with the National Register of Health Service Psychologists www fop net

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Have you tried Burn Along I have Not just a site for workout programs Burn Along has programs for meditation healthy eating and more Check it out the first 30 days are free Sherri Martin FOP National Director of Wellness Services

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November 2020 Edition By Sherri Martin www fop net

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November 2020 Edition Is Your Flame Dimming Strategies for Stoking the Fire Most all of us can remember why chose a law enforcement career Perhaps it was that drive to make a difference in the world or to serve our fellow citizens Maybe it seemed like an exciting job or maybe it wasn t our intended career but became the path we took due to other influences in life Most of us can remember our first day on the job or our first day as an independent officer finally free of Field Training However I wonder how many of us can recall a specific day or point in time that we started to feel differently or negatively about the job Police officers are in general quite a resilient group of people However we are still human subject not only to the stresses everyday life throws at us but also the stresses of shift work reductions in resources coupled with expanded expectations and yes traumatic incidents and a front row seat to the worst of human behavior Over time those things can wear on us especially in times when there aren t enough breaks or outlets for us to step away from the demands You might recognize some of these situations in your work from patrolman all the way to top administrator For the patrolman it might mean the expectation that you will take extra shifts due to manpower shortages Or it might mean multiple years of working in the roughest parts of your jurisdiction where you may seldom get a break from call after call for service and the feeling that you don t have control over your work For the manager or administrator it may be the feeling www fop net Continued

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November 2020 Edition Is Your Flame Dimming that you can never step away from your phone or email even when you are off duty or that you never have enough time to finish all your tasks or projects For all of us it may be the current seemingly never ending anti police commentary in the media Some may have a hard time recognizing the signs of burnout in themselves or may simply not want to admit that they are suffering However when it comes to surviving and even thriving after burnout early intervention is key So take stock Are you constantly irritable or angry at work or do you dread reporting for your shift Do you have low energy or lack interest in the parts of your job that used to be interesting or exciting for you When feelings of burnout start to occur many people focus on quick remedies like taking a vacation While likely helpful the relief is often only temporary We also need to focus on strategies that will have a bigger impact and create lasting change Here are some suggestions for walking away from the burnout trap Identify what you need from your work At the end of the day what is most important for you to have gained from a day s or a week s work Most of us want our workplace to have key characteristics Identify five qualities most important to you that your ideal employer would possess and then measure your experience at work Get support from the places where you can find it Especially in these current times with all of the challenges facing the law enforcement community identify not only those community Continued www fop net

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November 2020 Edition Is Your Flame Dimming partners that support the law enforcement mission but also those supporters in your personal life who can be there to cheer you on Be honest and empathic with yourself Have the courage to dig deep and conduct an honest assessment of where you are in your perceptions of your career Each person is different and while some may notice full blown burnout 15 years into a career others may never see these effects even after 30 years Sometimes this is the most difficult of assessments to make but being honest with yourself could actually lead to growth Take control of what you can and consider change If you find yourself frustrated by a perceived lack of control over your work and believe there are no opportunities to change your situation change your thinking Take stock of what you can control in your work environment and make a small positive change Then build on it to increase your feelings of your impact on your workplace If you still feel trapped and unable to make any changes consider an assignment you may have previously thought wasn t for you Sometimes a change of scenery and focus makes a big difference in how we experience our work Make time to take care of yourself This cannot be said often or loudly enough It is nearly impossible to avoid some level of burnout if one is never able to step away from the job and experience other parts of their life Physical health is closely tied to mental health so make time to be active Have a creative outlet or pursue a passion outside of work Maintaining a proper work life balance is a key to keeping well and in the fight for the long haul www fop net

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COVID 19 SURVEY The National Fraternal Order of Police is committed to listening to the voices of our members In recent months the COVID 19 pandemic has affected the working conditions of law enforcement officers across this country and the world Because we recognize this impact we ask that members share their experiences in the following survey of Police Officer Experiences During the COVID 19 Pandemic We hope that this brief survey will help us further understand your experiences during the pandemic and will enable us to find avenues for providing support to our members https www surveymonkey com r FOPCOVID 19

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November 2020 Edition Spiritual Message for Health Wellness FOP National Chaplain Phil Wiggins Stepping back and trying to take in the past several months I have personally felt and have spoken with people who are experiencing enormous frustration insecurity pain depression and at times a sense of no hope A lot of these feelings come from watching the news and being active on social media where we experience political arguments and more negative news If we only focus on the things we see happening around us it is easy to lose hope and when we lose hope we tend to give up There are a few things that I have found helpful such as turning off the news and don t spend as much time reading about www fop net Continued

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November 2020 Edition Spiritual Message politics on social media I have really enjoyed calling my active law enforcement brothers and sisters and providing words of encouragement I believe one of my big helpful takeaways from all the emotional and spiritual experiences has been my church family pastors sermons and Christian videos with positive messages that our hope is in God and He has a plan for us all A scripture passage comes to mind which is 2 Corinthians 4 18 Things that are seen don t last forever but things that are not seen are eternal That s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen That means you don t just look at what s going on in our world now Instead of focusing on the temporary focus on the eternal For instance pay more attention to God s Word than the news or spending so much time on your smartphone Your problems won t last forever The coronavirus pandemic won t last forever Difficulties don t last But hope in God lasts forever There are things in Gods universe that you can t see that will last forever Faith hope and love and greatest of these is love And if you trust in Jesus you will be with God forever in eternity Don t shuffle along eyes to the ground absorbed with the things right in front of you Look up and be alert to what is going on around Christ that s where the action is See things from his perspective Colossians 3 2 www fop net

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November 2020 Edition If you missed the live webinar on October 27th How to Prevent a Global Crisis from Becoming a Personal One Stress Management in High Stress Times a link to the recorded webinar will soon be available The FOP was proud to work with our CRI TAC partners to produce this webinar which was hosted by the National Sheriffs Association Now online Check out the Police Resilience Symposium that took place virtually September 22 24 Featuring 40 speakers from 7 countries the Resilience Symposium is packed with information on law enforcement wellness www resiliencesymposium org Policing Under a Threat to Identity Hot off the press The Officer Wellness Committee and Dr Thomas Coghlan bring to you our most recent webinar titled Policing Under a Threat to Identity which took place on July 30th In this webinar Dr Coghlan provides education on how to cope during these stressful times www fop net

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November 2020 Edition Do what you can with what you have where you are Teddy Roosevelt www fop net

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November 2020 Edition Steps to Reduce Police Fatigue Given the current circumstances in our profession the workload of officers is not apt to soon decrease However there are things that officers can do Officers can control how they choose to react to stressful incidents acknowledge that fatigue plays a direct role on personal stress levels Officers will react as they have been trained when they are properly rested and alert In addition law enforcement officers can 1 Plan meals and make healthy eating choices and stop eating high calorie fast food 2 Plan vacation and downtime Write it down and stick to it 3 See your doctor regularly for checkups 4 Share the workload and reduce the amount of overtime 5 Live within your means so that moonlighting that second job is not necessary 6 Create a realistic exercise program and form healthy habits 7 Create a Patrol Buddy program and make time to check on each other 8 Keep your civilian friends and get away from the job no shop talk on downtime www fop net

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November 2020 Edition Chateau Recovery First Responder Resiliency Program Midway UT www chateau com firstresponders FHE Health Inc Shatterproof Program Deerfield Beach FL https fherehab com services first responders Transformations Treatment Center Help For Our Heroes Program Delray Beach FL https helpforourheroes com Warrior s Heart Bandera TX www warriorsheart com www fop net

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November 2020 Edition As the FOP Wellness Committee works in cooperation with the COPS Office of the US Department of Justice to construct the Power In Peers curriculum in law enforcement peer support we will incorporate lessons from the field of Positive Psychology Author Angela Duckworth is a renowned expert in the concept of grit or perseverance toward goals This month s selection by Dr Duckworth explores the ways that tenacity and the ability to get back up after a fall are what drives success much more than pure genius Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down and how that not talent or luck makes all the difference www fop net

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November 2020 Edition There is ALWAYS another option www fop net