September was Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a designated time to acknowledge that this tragedy claims the lives of tens of thousands, including police officers. But we need to be aware of it year round. Officers face challenges unlike those in most occupations. They don’t often get the support they need to cope with emotional problems or trauma, which they may experience any day on the job. Untreated, the stress they experience can trigger serious mental, physical and performance-related consequences, including hopelessness, a prime indicator of suicide. Click here to continue reading this blog post by the Office of Justice Programs.
Since I started practising mindfulness in 2013, I’ve noticed that I’m calmer and more likely to feel compassionate towards victims, witnesses and even offenders. I think that has implications for evidence-gathering, crime detection, victim satisfaction and community relations. Click here to read this case study from the Mindfulness Initiative.
A new bill to be introduced during the legislative short session next month is asking for all Oregon police officers to take a closer look inward – at their mental welfare. Click here to continue reading this article by Melanie Sevcenko for the Skanner News.
“Inhale shoulders come in and up,” said San Leandro resident Beth Zygielbaum to a room of people on yoga mats. This is a unique yoga class. It’s being taught at an East Bay police department. Cops in child’s pose. “We have a lot of closet yoga people here that won’t admit it,” laughed Chief Jeff Tudor, San Leandro Police Department. Fed-up with national news reports of racial disparities in policing and cases of excessive force Zygielbaum simply called her local police chief. “I was just calling to find out what the heck was going on. I was calling as a concerned citizen,” she explained. The chief called her back right... Learn More
…Senior Cpl. Joshua Merkel, the class’s defensive-tactics instructor, talked to the recruits about how their bodies might respond to stressful situations. “When stress and adrenaline hit, we get tunnel vision, where our scope of vision narrows, and we get auditory exclusion, where we don’t hear as well,” he explained. He worked with them on deep breathing, yoga and other techniques for tuning into their environment. “From Day 1, I asked them to notice all the subtle things, like people’s energies and their body language,” Merkel said, including “observing sounds — not just hearing them but observing what things sound like — and what you smell.” Click here to read the... Learn More
As part of an effort to reduce secondhand trauma among first responders in Central Florida, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office will host a three-day mindfulness program. Click here to continue reading this article by Bianca Padro Ocasio in the Orlando Sentinel.
We join so many others in mourning the tragic loss of a great Dharma teacher and friend to so many. Cheri Maples made unique contributions to mindful justice field, as a former police captain and ordained teacher in Thich Nhat Hanh’s lineage, who trained numerous law enforcement and other public safety professionals in mindfulness through her organization, the Center for Mindfulness & Justice. Cheri and her work are irreplaceable, and at the same time she has opened the way for many to follow in her footsteps bringing the healing and transformative power of mindfulness and compassion to our public safety professionals. Fleet Maull, PhD, Founder Center for Mindfulness in Corrections &... Learn More
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
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.
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