BADGE OF LIFE POLICE STRESS MANAGEMENT LINKS
| Dr. Richard Levenson, Badge of Life Deputy Director and 9/11 Responder
All services, materials, lectures and classes by Badge of Life are free.
Trained counselors for police officers, veterans or family members. If you, or someone you know, is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, please call 1-800-273-8255. This service can immediately link a caller seeking help to a trained counselor closest to the caller’s geographic location – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Someone is there for you, now. Pick up the phone.
The West Coast Post-Trauma Retreat (WCPR) The WCPR is a part of the First Responder Support Network (FRSN), a non-profit organization with skilled and experienced clinical and peer staff trained in trauma recovery. Their goal is to help emergency service professionals and retirees regain control over their lives and either return to work with a new perspective on stress and coping or move on with their lives. The WCPR residential program provides an educational experience designed to help current and retired first responders (firefighters, police, paramedic), recognize the signs and symptoms of stress including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in themselves and in others.
Significant Others and Spouses (SOS): The SOS program is for emergency responder partners and spouses who may also be affected by these critical incidents (resulting in secondary or vicarious traumatization), but may also experience their own depression or anxiety symptoms and need a program to address their needs. In addition, Significant Others and Spouses may have their own trauma history, which is re-activated when his/her partner experiences a traumatic event. Sessions are held at the West Coast Posttrauma Retreat (WCPR).
The Law Enforcement Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous was created to assist employees in our profession. The meeting is open to any law enforcement employee who has a desire to stop drinking. Check out our list to see if there is a group near you. If you can't find a group that's accessible to you, we still encourage you to attend a regular AA, many of which are listed here as alternatives. Many of us did, finding our recovery from alcoholism more important than our ego.
If you have a group, get on the list. You're of no use if you keep yourself a secret!
Other 12-Step Programs for Police Officers: If you are not an alcoholic, it doesn't mean the 12 step programs can't still be of value to you. A twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addictions, compulsions, or other behavioral problems that may be interfering with relationships, careers or one's enjoyment of life. The 12-step programs are NOT religious, although there are a few religious ones available should you wish one. We encourage you to look over this list and consider joining one of these fellowships. Like AA, no one cares who you are--they only care about you.
The California Peer Support Association, a professional and educational organization, is dedicated to the advancement, promotion, and enhancement of peer support and peer support programs for law enforcement, fire, and allied emergency service personnel.
Check out our free videos and instructional materials on
The OHIO CRIMINAL JUSTICE COORDINATING CENTER OF EXCELLENCE provides training assistance for law enforcement and their local counterparts in the area of training design for the core CIT course, as well as refresher training and advanced training for CIT officers. The Center recognizes the importance of incorporating a training block on officer wellness, stress and trauma within the 40-hour core CIT course and includes these as a part of its training program as well.
ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY provides a forum for law enforcement to share, confidentially. This site provides a safe place for law enforcement to express their hurts, habits, and hangups and share information and resources among its members. It is our goal to help each of us live a more functional and satisfying life at home and at work.
WHEN A CHILD DIES
Do you still remember the first baby not breathing call? Does your stomach knot up when you drive by that certain play ground? Do you wonder why, after all of this time you can’t seem to let this one specific call go like all of the other calls for service in your career? Is the death of a child somewhat different than any other medical call?
This web site is for first responders (communications, EMTs, police, fire, medical examiners) who witness, attend to or investigate the death of a child during their shift.
Emergency Ministries: Our Mission - "To come alongside first responders who experience extraordinary human events daily and to offer them emotional and spiritual support services."
The Sweeney Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Texas-based company that provides training programs and educational material relating to grief, post-traumatic stress, and suicide prevention for the public in general and the emergency response community and their families in North America. The Sweeney Alliance promotes a mentally healthy work environment by working with local, state, and national fire service and law enforcement agencies and organizations. They also produce a newsletter.
BADGE 149 Gary P. Jones was a police officer in Florida for over thirty-six years (1967-2003), retiring as a Captain. In addition to writing about his career experiences, he blogs and has a new book coming out on police stress and suicide. A voice worth hearing, Gary has a wise insight to the ups and downs of a police career, pointing out the rewards, the frustrations, and the dangers not only from others who would do us harm but from the harm we can do ourselves by not taking good care of ourselves, emotionally.
The purpose of Wounded Badge is to provide a venue for officers (current and retired) to share concerns and experiences, to give and to receive support from each other, and to hopefully learn ways to not only be more tactically sound, but maybe how to be a little more emotionally healthy as well. There is also a section for retirees, who are encouraged to get involved and offer their experiences and suggestions on what worked for them. The idea is to make this a useful site for officers to return to and learn that reaching out to others in our field speeds up getting over things a lot faster than trying to handle them on our own.
The Law Enforcement Peer Support Network is a fellowship of men and women in law enforcement that have come together to assist police officers in moments of crisis and when peer support is needed.
Peer support is not a replacement for the other professional resources that are available. Peer support occurs when people provide knowledge, experience, emotional, social or practical help to each other.
Changing Perspectives provides new and updated articles of interest as well as valuable resources for peer support officers, trainers and clinicians working in police mental health. Eva Tak, a therapist near Sacramento, is a former police officer with broad experience in working with police officers on stress, postraumatic stress disorder, anxiety and personal relationship issues.
AZURE ACRES Treatment Center, a center for substance abuse that has treated many emergency responders, offers a free online assessment and confidential CHAT LINE. You can interact online as much or as little as you like with a trained professional to obtain information about yourself or someone you care about.
Wives Behind the Badge, Inc. is dedicated to providing resources and emotional support to law enforcement families, and to serving as a positive voice for law enforcement in the community.
PeerSupportCentral.com was created for the sole purpose of providing resource information at the finger tips of Public Safety & Military professionals, along with advancing the field of peer support knowledge and methodology. This site is dedicated to our friends and colleagues who we lost along the way, and for those who survived life's traumas to grow and care for the care takers of the globe.
HeroTalk is a unique online gathering place for emergency service professionals and the civilians whose lives have been touched by them. Built with strong hands and a compassionate heart by a seasoned first responder who has lived it, found balance and wants to give back. Resources include: videos, nutrition, martial arts, social networks, articles and Hero stories.
The Fraternal Order of Police is the world's largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers, with more than 325,000 members in more than 2,100 lodges. We are the voice of those who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving our communities. We are committed to improving the working conditions of law enforcement officers and the safety of those we serve through education, legislation, information, community involvement, and employee representation. No one knows the dangers and the difficulties faced by today's police officers better than another officer, and no one knows police officers better than the FOP.
POLICE SUICIDE, Epidemic in Blue: The landmark text on police suicide, "Epidemic in Blue" far out-ranks any book thus far on the police lifestyle, stress, trauma and suicide. John M. Violanti explores all aspects of the issues, from basic to more complex, and debunks many misconceptions about this tragedy. In its second edition, no one involved in police mental health or sucide prevention should go without reading this book.
CopShock, 2nd Edition: In the second edition, almost 50 percent of CopShock has been expanded, revised and updated with new material, including self-tests for PTSD. He encourages officers to set up a support system before a critical incident occurs, which includes friends and family, peer counselors, therapists and support groups. Highly interesting is a new chapter (9/11) in which he discusses the dilemma of "delayed onset." The chapter on "Resiliency" is also a thoughtful one that offers suggestions on developing what the author calls a "resilience" to future traumatic events by broadening one's viewpoint, acceptance, considering support groups, and taking advantage of a mental health professional to develop a healthy strategy for moving ahead. A book every officer should read.
ON THE EDGE: RECENT PERSPECTIVES ON POLICE SUICIDE. John Violanti, PhD, is the nation’s leading researcher in the field of police stress, PTSD and suicide and is a retired New York State Trooper. Andy O’Hara is a retired CHP sergeant whose 24-year career ended with PTSD and a near suicide. He went on to found the Badge of Life organization. Teresa Tate’s police husband committed suicide and she formed the organization SOLES (Survivors of Law Enforcement Suicide).
Together, Violanti, O’Hara and Tate have written a book of the most up-to-date information available on police mental health and police suicide, sharing research and data and a pioneering new program designed to prepare officers for stress and trauma, rather than waiting until after—when it’s too late.
I LOVE A COP is an outstanding book for families of police officers (and officers) on the lifestyle in a law enforcement career. The author does a wonderful job of explaining the emotional strains of shifts and job stresses, how officers change, and the strain put on a family. This is a book full of support and resources, including recommendations for therapy when needed--valuable reading for families and officers.
An excellent program in Philadephia, the Bottles and Badges group demonstrates how local groups can team with other organizations to share important information about alcohol recovery. An energetic and successful group, they are on the "cutting edge."Too often, agencies feel they must "disguise" AA as something else, like just a social group, rather than what it is--a gathering of like-minded souls trying to salvage their lives. Alcoholics cannot be "pampered" into AA--it is a decision they must make based on their own situation and need. There is no "easy way" for recovery from alcoholism, nor should we suggest there is. To find a Law Enforcement Fellowship group of AA in your area, visit AA for Cops
The goal of MesotheliomaSymptoms.com is to provide accurate, useful information that can be used for general informational purposes, and to advocate for a greater awareness of the dangers of asbestos and the realities of mesothelioma. Firefighters, police officers, and many others were exposed to a wide variety of toxins in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, including asbestos particles. Furthermore, in the years after the 2001 attacks, health experts have noted respiratory and mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, in those who engaged in ground zero rescue and cleanup efforts. Many of the workers were not given proper protective gear and spent long periods of time exposed to clouds of toxic dust, which included large amounts of asbestos. Inhalation of asbestos can cause a wide variety of respiratory problems, including asbestosis and mesothelioma cancer. Also see http://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma/ and http://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma/survival-rate.php
HOW TO PICK A THERAPIST: In this video, Dr. Anne Bisek, Clinical Psychologist, walks the viewer through the steps of when and how to find a good therapist, the alarm signals an emergency responder should be aware of, issues of confidentiality and the types of therapy available.
This sampling of writings shows why JOHN M. VIOLANTI, PhD is the most renowned and widely published expert on the topics of police mental health, suicide and health risks. A 23-year veteran of the New York State Police, Dr,. Violanti's research has focused on a number of topics including assessment of psychological and biological indicators of chronic workplace police stress; subclinical cardiovascular and metabolic disease in the Buffalo Police Health Study; line-of-police-duty deaths: survivor responses and departmental policies; and the epidemiology of police suicide.
OCCUPATIONAL CHAPLAINS OF AMERICA Not to be forgotten in the emotional health of the police officer is the need for a sense of spirituality as a part of resiliency. Chaplains can play a valuable role by assisting all employees and immediate family members, regardless of faith or none. They are a confidential source and guide, and can prove an invaluable source of support.
The Connecticut Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement, Inc. (CABLE) brings community and law enforcement resources together to address common issues related to mental health. CABLE is a grassroots, non-profit, 501 (C)(3) research and training collaborative who’s mission is to serve as an interdisciplinary resource and catalyst for law enforcement and community collaboration, support and education. They offer an excellent peer support training program, free, to police agencies.
Anne Bisek, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in Fremont, California. Her practice focuses on first responders, their families and military returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. She is the mental health professional on the San Mateo CISD team, and also provides debriefings for the California Highway Patrol. She is a volunteer at West Coast Posttrauma Retreat Center, and a member of the San Francisco Psych Pros. Anne uses Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing to treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. She has worked in the domestic violence unit at Hayward Police Department, and in corrections. Her research was with three California Urban Search and Rescue teams deployed to New York following the terrorist attack in 2001. She enjoys running with her dog Justice, and biking. She can also be reached at 510-797-4911.
MentalHelp.Net Blogs: Rebecca Morgan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker whose interests extend across a broad range, particularly PTSD, anxiety, depression and their impacts on law enforcement and other emergency services personnel. Rebecca hopes, through her blog, to provide new and up-to-date information, as well as give reassurance to those in need that caring help is available--and that there is hope.
RPOAC is the only statewide organization in California dedicated to protecting retired peace officers’ interests. Inflation has reduced many retirement incomes to below poverty levels. Many retirees have to seek employment to survive; some are forced to rely on public assistance; others barely exist. The Retired Peace Officers Association of California (RPOAC), was organized by retired peace officers. We would not stand by and helplessly watch our benefits be carelessly discarded or eroded away.
MENTAL AMMO is committed to providing quality training to law enforcement agencies. Training includes tactics, use of force and reality based training. Their web site offers a wide variety of informational and training articles as well as videos. The police news page is updated daily.
The Retired & Disabled Police of America (RDPOA) is a fraternal organization formed in October, 1990. Membership is open to any individual who is retired or disabled from service as a law enforcement officer from any local, state or federal law enforcement agency, including military police units. Members receive our official publication, the American Police Bulletin (APB). The APB is published quarterly and contains information of interest to our members.
IN HARM'S WAY is a federally funded program of seminars and workshops nationally on suicide prevention. This webpage offers resources, reproducible materials, articles with varying viewpoints, statistics and opinions from which readers can form their own conclusions on the magnitude of the law enforcement suicide problem, its causes and the best approaches to finding a solution.
SuicideByCop.com’s goal is to develop and present a more clear understanding of the “suicide by cop” phenomenon. This is a site for law enforcement personnel as well as the general public - to enlighten, educate, and offer support to officers who have been inexplicably drawn into the emotional upheaval of those who choose to end their lives.
Ellen F. Kirschman, Ph.D. of Redwood City, California is a consulting psychologist for many law enforcement agencies across the country and is available to give workshops to police families. Author of “I Love a Cop,” she is also is co-founder of the website, policefamilies.com. She is a member of the psychological services sub-section of the International Association of Police Chiefs; The American Psychological Association (Division 18; Police and Public Safety); The Society for Police and Criminal Psychology; and Women in the Fire Service.
Policefamilies.Com The purpose of this Web Site is to provide Law Enforcement families and under served law enforcement communities with essential psychological information and improved access to family support services. An excellent resource, this site contains a wealth of recommended literature, family resources, curriculum materials such as downloadable overheads and handouts, and links of use to all law enforcement.
Jeanne Templeman and Associates is a collaborative of highly experienced persons who have diverse backgrounds in the disciplines of mental health, drug and alcohol recovery, nursing, social work, recreational therapy, chaplaincy and who are also "consumers". Their entire team is committed to meeting those needs. They provide consultation, training and in-service to other providers, and are currently working on developing continuing education programs for licensed professionals.
A retired Texas state trooper, Thomas Peoples knows the world of multiple traumas on the job. He became suicidal after a pursuit in which the suspect crashed and killed an infant he knew and had held on his knee only a week before. His experience and survival led him to form Shadows of the Badge, a website enabling him to reach out to fellow officers with his story and provide useful information about suicide preventionfor officers who may face the same danger.