Changing Law Enforcement Wellness Culture
Category: Law Enforcement
Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today I’m here to talk with all my law enforcement friends about wellness.
Wellness is something we owe ourselves, our peers, our families, and our communities.
Listen, policing involves a lot of stress. Our experiences can cause unresolved or lingering emotional issues. Untreated, these issues can lead to problems in both our personal and professional lives. Health problems, trouble sleeping, short-temper – you name it. Sadly, some officers experience thoughts of and even die by suicide.
Since police officers are used to helping others, it can be hard to admit when we need help ourselves. Mental health issues have been stigmatized in not only the media, but also in law enforcement culture. Seeking help is sometimes seen as a weakness. But the truth is, seeking help is a sign of strength, confidence, and resourcefulness. Wellness is something we owe ourselves, our peers, our families, and our communities.
So how do you change the culture of wellness in your agency? Here’s a few things to consider.
First, be proactive and talk openly about mental health in your agency. Speak to your supervisor and your peers. Have these conversations before things go bad. Explore wellness options so you know what’s available when you or a coworker need them. If you’re a supervisor, make sure your people know about the wellness options available to you.
Secondly, maintain a multifaceted approach to wellness. It’s important for your agency to provide resources from all angles. This can include employee assistance programs, insurance benefits, and tools like Lexipol’s Cordico Wellness App. It might also include use or development of peer support and critical incident stress management teams.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Encourage coworkers to do the same when you notice issues or problems developing. Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally goes a long way toward overall wellness. Don’t let your pride or ego get in the way. Your life depends on it!
And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Until next time, Gordan Graham signing off.