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Wellness September 2020

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September 2020 Edition Fraternal Order of Police Wellness Services Readiness Through Resilience 2020 National Fraternal Order of Police

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September 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 Resilience enables us to develop shields of protection against experiences which could be overwhelming It helps us maintain balance in our lives during difficult times and can protect us from the development of mental health issues 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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September 2020 Edition By Sherri Martin Training for Tough Times Why Resilience Training Is A Necessary Part of Our Armor The average police department requires successful completion of over 650 hours of basic training before beginning the job of a police officer Some require much more time with some academies stretching over 850 hours of training Add to that an additional twelve to fourteen weeks of field training Over a career most officers receive additional specialized and recertification training on a yearly basis We learn the skills to defend ourselves in physical combat how to use a ballistic shield how to deploy intermediate weapons and how to use our firearms effectively in all sorts of circumstances ones in which we may or may not find ourselves in the course of our careers We train to make sure that we will physically survive armed encounters But how often do we train to ensure that we will mentally or emotionally survive a career in law Continued enforcement www fop net www fop net

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September 2020 Edition Part of our armor Remaining resilient while witnessing the daily suffering of others without having time to process one event before moving on to the next can be extremely challenging Calls for service involving domestic violence suicide or involuntary commitments can be immediately followed by calls to the scene of child neglect or overdose deaths Most officers enter the profession to help and protect people Realizing day in and day out that they cannot protect everyone they encounter and witnessing the destruction people can cause can be emotionally draining In these modern times serving as a law enforcement officer is likely more challenging than it has ever been The job requires that we wear several hats In order to be successful at our jobs we must be flexible and adaptive Now more than ever police officers are encouraged to maintain their physical fitness to engage in regular exercise and to follow nutritional programs to fuel their bodies to meet the challenges of the job However it s just as important that we engage in regular work to build and maintain our mental and emotional resilience to meet not only the challenges of the job but also the changes in lifestyle that a career in law enforcement carries with it Resilience is defined as the ability to recover from stress adversity and trauma through the development of skills for coping So where should we begin with resilience training and how can it be taught Law enforcement leaders beginning with training officers who are mentoring new officers should recognize where a new officer may be coming from While police recruits are typically young that does not mean they Continued www fop net

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September 2020 Edition Part of our armor are emotional clean slates when they come on the job They may bring with them their past experiences and pressures from their lives They may have already developed both good and bad strategies for coping with adversity Recognizing what level of awareness an officer has about of the effects of stress as well as what coping skills are already on board will help to map out a course for further resilience skills practice Just having the conversation is a great first step For both the individual officer and the police agency regular attention to building resilience skills is key Many agencies have seen first hand the benefits of ongoing careerlong mentoring programs which in many ways provide the same supportive and protective elements as structured peer support programs Mentoring and peer support programs can be a valuable source of information about how to access other wellness and mental health resources They can provide the individual officer a sounding board for life challenges outside the job which are part of everyday life but sometimes take on unique twists due to the unique elements of the job of a law enforcement officer What should you do if your department does not have a mentoring or peer support program Seek out a similar resource for yourself outside the agency or better yet step up and work to create such a program Recruit some workout buddies to help you Think about it In order to maintain physical fitness we shop around for the gym or workout program that best suits our needs and preferences Why not Continued www fop net

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September 2020 Edition Part of our armor do the same when setting yourself up with your resilience workout To be most effective practicing a resilience skills workout should be done as frequently as any regular physical exercise Part of every training program is education A simple online search of resilience practices yields a plethora of strategies for building individual resilience against any of a variety of challenges Skills that help us to most effectively build resilience are different for each individual Educate yourself about what support services your agency offers Talk with colleagues and friends about their practices and consider including significant others and family in developing a resilience framework to increase chances of success With regular practice resilience can mean not only surviving a career in law enforcement but thriving in one References Spence D 2017 Improving Law Enforcement Resilience Lessons and Recommendations Officer Safety and Wellness Group Meeting Summary Washington DC Office of Community Oriented Policing Services Continued www fop net

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September 2020 Edition www fop net

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September 2020 Edition 1 Stop negative thought patterns When bad things happen we get sometimes get stuck thinking about negative outcomes We repeatedly think about what we could have done differently or how we could have changed the outcome We may mistakenly believe that thinking about our shortcomings over and over again will help us solve them or avoid them in the future Unfortunately negative thought cycles just get us caught up in our thoughts instead of taking the actions we need to move forward To stop this practice what may help is an interruption of the thought cycle with a behavioral action Get up go for run or a walk engage in rhythmic breathing or meditation organize or clean your space Do something that will get your body engaged in a practice that requires both movement and concentration on something other than the negative thought cycle 2 Overcome fear of failure through reframing If you view failure as a threat your body will prepare for a fight Instead when considering a task where there is a potential for failure view it as a challenge To build this mindset think of past challenges that you have overcome and see new challenges as opportunities to grow If you visualize yourself being successful and overcoming the challenge you are more likely to do just that www fop net Continued

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September 2020 Edition 3 Practice finding the good Many of the situations we encounter in law enforcement place us in people s lives on their very worst day We are exposed to violence negativity and destruction Shift work long hours and missed family time can add to negative feelings At first it can seem impossible to find the benefits in these situations To practice start with a small disappointment Identify every positive thing you can about the situation Maybe you learned a new skill Maybe the situation could have been much worse As you make the practice of finding the good a habit you will be able to apply it in more difficult situations 4 Tackle challenges head on In life there are many situations that may make us uncomfortable We may find ways to avoid these experiences so that we don t have to deal with them However this kind of avoidance can become dangerous because we never get over the anxiety of dealing with the problem Instead anxiety builds and the problem seems more like a mountain than the molehill it started as It s twice as hard to get over a hurdle carrying a bag of anxiety and negative emotions with you Instead use that anxiety to propel you forward Reflect on why you are feeling uncomfortable It may be that your mind is telling you that you need to make a positive change www fop net Continued

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September 2020 Edition 5 Work on maintaining fitness and flexibility Not just in the physical Are you strong physically mentally and emotionally Are you well connected to friends and family for support Do you have some personal savings in case of a financial challenge Each of these areas and more are important for keeping you resilient in difficult or challenging times Practice adjusting to changing circumstances Take inventory to ensure that you are not so set in your ways that you break rather than bending 6 Maintain focus and balance Do you know what really matters to you and are you able to focus your time and attention on those things Or are you constantly distracted by the plethora of things that try to steal your time from your priorities One of the most important keys to wellness is balance Too much of anything can be harmful and finding the balance in work and play helps maintain focus on things that matter and keep us from getting depleted Confront the belief that you need to be constantly available in order to be valuable and realize that even the most successful people can t always juggle it all www fop net

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September 2020 Edition Transformations Treatment Center an FOP Approved Provider Facility will present a town hall style webinar on coping with stress in challenging times for law enforcement Stay tuned for details 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 Responding with Resilience Navigating the Stressors of Police Work During the COVID 19 Pandemic Dr Tom Coghlan retired NYPD Detective police psychologist and FOP member recently provided a free webinar titled Responding with Resilience Navigating the Stressors of Police Work During the COVID 19 Pandemic The event was recorded and can be accessed at any time www fop net

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September 2020 Edition Strength does not come from winning Your struggles develop your strengths When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender that is a strength Arnold Schwarzenegger www fop net

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September 2020 Edition www fop net

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September 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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September 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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September 2020 Edition Dr Stephanie Conn serves on the FOP Wellness Professional Advisory Panel and is the author of this month s recommended selection Increasing Resilience in Police and Emergency Personnel illuminates the psychological emotional behavioral and spiritual impact of police work on police officers administrators emergency communicators and their families Dr Conn is a clinician and researcher as well as a former police officer and dispatcher who debunks myths about weakness and offers practical strategies in plain language for police employees and their families struggling with traumatic stress and burnout Using real world anecdotes and exercises this book provides strengths based guidance to help navigate the many complex and sometimes difficult effects of police and emergency work www fop net

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August 2020 Edition There is ALWAYS another option www fop net