Thursday, 9 January 2014

The Wall Street Journal: Seeking Help for Police After Catastrophes

The Wall Street Journal posted an article online in the US News section on 9th January 2014 titled: Seeking Help for Police After Catastrophes.

Here are some key quotes:
"Police departments around the country are stepping up efforts to help officers cope with job-related stress and emotional trauma, often after horrific incidents, as these problems have been linked to substance abuse, domestic violence and suicide.

"We've seen catastrophe with the damages that the cumulative stress of trauma after trauma can do," said Capt. Sarah Creighton, who heads the wellness unit in the San Diego Police Department, which has a recent history of officer suicide and misconduct cases, including domestic abuse, drunken driving and sexual assault.
For years, police were tight-lipped about their problems, in part due to fear that seeking help would negatively impact others' perceptions of their performance, said Jim Pasco, the executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police.
At the Hillsboro Police Department outside Portland, Ore., Lt. Richard Goerling recently won a battle to begin using mindfulness techniques to combat post-traumatic stress disorder among his colleagues and as a preventative measure.

Mindfulness, a term that has come in vogue in recent years, refers to a practice of psychological awareness of one's present situation, often with techniques such as meditation.

"It doesn't mean I'm running around with rainbows and unicorns and tossing them out of a goodie bag…but mindfulness is at the center of any approach in any police organization that focuses on a preventive, holistic construct," Lt. Goerling said."

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