Throughout 2022, this blog featured dozens of helpful and insightful articles on topics related to mental health, physical fitness and other wellness-related topics important to the first responder community. Many of the posts made us laugh; others highlighted the anxiety and sorrow that can come with policing, firefighting, corrections and emergency medical work. The best pieces provided actionable advice to help improve the lives of those working in public safety.
Below are the top 10 wellness articles from the year, based on the total number of times visitors have accessed the content:
- 3 Key Considerations When Developing a Peer Support Program by Cordico Team
As public safety agencies place more emphasis on wellness initiatives, many departments are developing or enhancing their peer support programs. This article points to three factors—confidentiality, guidelines and training—that can help make or break a peer support program.
- Distracted? Impulsive? Understanding ADHD in First Responders by Missy Morris
People with ADHD can easily get bored in traditional workplaces, leading many to seek jobs where every day is different. While being a first responder might seem like a great fit for someone with this condition, both medical and non-medical interventions may be needed to help keep some ADHD symptoms under control.
- Fitness Foundations for First Responders: Approaching Strength Training and Conditioning by Jay Dawes
First responders are considered “tactical athletes,” but it’s common for public safety workers to stop thinking as much about strength and conditioning after leaving the academy. Getting into optimal physical shape requires a renewed emphasis on general health and a gradual buildup of fitness in order to attain peak performance.
- Mental Wellness Check-ins: What They Are and How They Help by Marie Ridgeway
The “strategy” of ignoring mental health problems just isn’t working for first responders anymore. (Truth bomb: It never actually did.) Instead of ignoring the problem, many agencies are implementing check-in programs that help build relationships between their employees and mental health professionals in order to get out ahead of problems before they manifest themselves.
- First Responder Substance Abuse: Ignorance Is Not Bliss by Crawford Coates
A first responder’s relationship with alcohol and other easily abused substances can be complicated. For some, it’s relatively easy to keep usage under control. But most first responders know at least a coworker or two who struggles with addiction. The solution is to reach out for help—from a medical/mental health provider, from one of the many resources provided by the agency, or through the Cordico app.
- Correctional Officer Mental Health: A Call for Change by Mark Chamberlain
If academy trainers were 100% transparent about the all-too-common struggles experienced by many in the field of corrections, would anyone want to be a corrections officer? Depression, PTSD, divorce and addiction are all too common in the profession, and everyone from leadership to new recruits need to acknowledge the issue and work together toward solutions.
- Controlling Your Ego in Police Work by Missy Morris
One of the most difficult balancing acts in policing is walking the line between confidence and arrogance, between projecting control and a hero complex. Not all cops are narcissists, but it’s not unusual for them to have one or more traits associated with the condition. The author offers some suggestions on how police officers might change their attitudes to help foster a more positive impression of those in law enforcement.
- Who Are You Without the Badge? by Nicholas Greco
If all you have is the job, at the end of the day, at the end of your career, what do you do then? That’s the question the author asks in this cogent piece on mindfulness and healthy self-image. It comes down to fostering friendships and interests outside the job to help ease the transition when retirement inevitably arrives.
- First Responder Mindset: 3 Principles for High Performance by Marie Ridgeway
High-performing people don’t get that way by accident. They plan for achievement, focus on controllable factors and visualize their future selves. By making intentional choices to improve in each aspect of their lives—healthier bodies, stronger minds, better relationships—high-performing first responders set the bar to accomplish what they set out to achieve.
- Old Habits Die Hard: First Responder Steps to Building Healthy Habits by Miriam Childs
Making a change in your life often involves getting rid of bad habits and replacing them with more productive ones. In this piece, the author explores the science behind forming and changing habitual behavior as a means for self-improvement and optimizing personal performance.
Did you miss any of these when they first came out? You can read them all, and much more, on the Cordico blog. New content is constantly being added, so be sure to check back often. If you’d like fresh content delivered right to your in-box, you can subscribe to the following: