Helping Those Who Keep Us Safe

On a daily basis, first responders — police, firefighters, EMTs, corrections officers and military personnel — put their lives on the line to protect others. Their professional training equips them with the skills they need to save others from danger, but when it comes to seeking help themselves, taking the first step can be challenging. Unfortunately, the consequences of not seeking help can be dire. Princeton House Behavioral Health, a unit of Princeton HealthCare System, provides First Responder Treatment Services to meet the unique needs of first responders and help them develop healthy ways to cope with the chronic and acute trauma associated with the critical incidents they handle.  ...
Learn More

Mindfulness in Policing Builds Resilience, Empathy

The Hillsboro Police Department in Oregon experienced a crisis in January 2013, when a 13-year veteran officer, drunk and armed with a rifle, frightened his wife into calling 911. What followed was an hour-long standoff at his house, ending in a shootout with 10 of his fellow officers. Fortunately, no one was injured, but former officer Timothy Cannon was later sentenced to 10 years in prison. Events like these have made Lt. Richard Goerling of the Hillsboro Police Department acutely aware of the impact stress can have on law enforcement officers. Click here to continue reading this article by Sarah Le in the Epoch Times.

CT First Responders Lean Mindfulness From 5th Graders

GREENWICH — Ten men sat at a conference table, their backs straight and eyes closed. The chatter of their radios had ceased and their deep breaths caused the insignia on their jackets — Greenwich Police, Greenwich Fire and Rescue or Greenwich Emergency Medical Services — to rise and fall. “Breathe in through your nose,” Jaden Scott, a fifth-grader at Julian Curtiss School, said, directing the men to feel the breath as it traveled to lungs, belly and out through the mouth.  On Thursday, Jaden and his classmates, fifth-graders Lauren Resnick, Jake Tisler and Logan Jozwiak, taught Greenwich first responders the mindfulness techniques that they use in school. Click here to...
Learn More

Meditation Proves Secret Weapon in Courtroom

Picture yourself walking into court, ready to give a closing argument on what has been a lengthy and challenging trial. You know the facts inside and out — you’ve been living and breathing this case, this argument, this moment in front of you for weeks, perhaps even months. Then as you begin speaking, the words flow smoothly — with good pace, tone and rhythm. The judge is listening intently and following everything you are saying. When you finish, you know you communicated exactly the message you intended to convey. Meditation is one tool that can help attorneys have this type of experience. Click here to continue reading this article by...
Learn More

Brain Health as a Dallas Police Line of Defense

Dallas Police officers are receiving additional defensive training, not in the use of firearms or bullet proof vests, but how to better use what is perhaps their best defensive weapon – their brains. The Center for Brain Health, part of the University of Texas at Dallas, and its Brain Performance Institute, are now collaborating to provide potentially critical training in tactical decision-making, real-time problem solving, and better managing their emotional response to stress. The Brain Performance Institute will offer officers Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training (SMART) and a mindfulness program specific to law enforcement. SMART strengthens the brain’s frontal networks — regions that support planning, reasoning, decision-making, judgment, and emotional...
Learn More

Mindfulness Training Reduces Stress in Police

Police officers face unique challenges everyday: departmental politics, pending litigation, irregular shifts. And on the street, they come face-to-face with criminals, violence and death, and situations that threaten their own safety. This stress is often experienced with excessive hostility, which impairs officers’ well-being and can negatively impact their behavior with the public. This stress is also reflected in depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and suicide —in higher rates than in the general population. Mindfulness-Based Resilience Training for law enforcement is now coming to light with the first empirical research on the program. Click here to continue reading this article in Project Censored.

Quiet Justice

When I tell people that I teach a class in law and meditation at UC Berkeley’s law school, I often hear snorts of disbelief. “It’s easier to imagine a kindergarten class sitting in silence for half an hour,” a friend said to me, “than two lawyers sitting together in silence for five minutes.” But the class is no joke. In fact, it’s part of a ground-breaking movement that has quietly been taking hold in the legal profession over the past two decades: a movement to bring mindfulness—a meditative, moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, relationships, and external circumstances—into the practice of law and legal education. Judges have been meditating before taking...
Learn More

Police Employees In Menlo Park To Explore Mindfulness Training

In June of 2016, through the City Manager’s Office, Mayor Kirsten Keith (then Vice Mayor) and Chief Bob Jonsen met to discuss the value of Mindfulness training for law enforcement in light of recent national discussions in regards to the disconnect of the relationship between law enforcement and the public. Mayor Keith completed the “Search Inside Yourself Leadership Program” last year and then broached the topic of mindfulness training with Chief Jonsen. Weeks following their discussion, Chief Jonsen followed up with the Mayor’s suggestions and met with law enforcement professionals regarding mindfulness training for police agencies. While mindfulness training is fairly new to law enforcement, its value is quickly being...
Learn More

Taking Mindfulness to the Streets

In 2006, Brant Rogers offered a free yoga class to police officers at his studio in Hillsboro, Ore. No one showed up. A few days later his phone rang. The caller introduced himself as Detective Richard Goerling of the local police department. “I want to talk about yoga for cops.” he told Rogers. “I want you to help figure out a way to stop the hurting.’” Goerling was intent on finding techniques that might help police officers cope with the job’s endemic pressures, which can cloud judgment, fuel unconscious biases, and manifest as rage or panic — or a combination of the two. Emotionally charged states can create the kind...
Learn More

Saving the Lawyers One Breath at a Time: Mindfulness in the Law

The role of a lawyer in a democratic society is significant in that lawyers ensure that the democracy is functional and its citizens enjoy fundamental human rights. Acting as advocates and advisers, lawyers also play an important role in virtually all business transactions in this country. And yet, as critical as they are to society, lawyers are reported to be the most frequently depressed occupational group in the United States. A new study by the American Bar Association and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation found that 28 percent of over 12,825 practicing lawyers polled reported a problem with depression. This is over three times the rate found in the general...
Learn More