A large-scale survey was conducted by the National Fraternal Order of Police partnered with Griffith University to capture the state of the law enforcement profession through the eyes of the practitioner. This webinar focuses on insights from the survey that looked at law enforcement professionals’ holistic health and wellness, the programming created to address related issues, and its effectiveness.
Leading this discussion are Sherri Martin and Jacqueline Drew. Sherri is the National Director of Wellness Services for the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), a career police officer, and an experienced clinical therapist. Meanwhile, Jackie is a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Policing Scholar with the Griffith Criminology Institute in Australia and a law enforcement practitioner and researcher.
Specifics of the discussion include:
- The survey’s aim to gather information on the status of law enforcement officer wellness, the effects of current events on police officers, critical issues for the profession, and the resources officers use.
- When the survey was conducted and the breakdown of the demographics of the respondents.
- Statistics gleaned from the survey in terms of:
- The most critical issues faced by law enforcement in terms of criminality, community relations, and the profession.
- How issues in removal of qualified immunity protections and negative and anti-police rhetoric impacted the officers, the agency, and the profession.
- The sources of police stress in terms of organizational and operational stressors and critical incidents and trauma.
- The level of burnout and psychological distress law enforcement professionals are subjected to.
- How the concept of organizational justice can act as a buffer between negative predictors and outcomes and be the variable that agencies and leaders can control amidst all the other factors that cannot be controlled in the profession.
- The importance of support and services for police officers’ wellness and survey findings that illustrate the different programs made available in agencies, which of these were actually used, and which were found to be most effective of these.
- A glimpse into the success of peer support in terms of availability, utilization, and effectiveness.
- FOP’s efforts in vetting wellness programs, services, and resources available to LE professionals and putting them together available in a directory.
- How availability of and access to services creates positive mental health outcomes in officers and fights the stigma with help-seeking within the profession.
- The value of external services in providing the same level of support for smaller agencies that do not have the resources to develop in-house programming.
- Understanding that it is not a one-time event or one type of stressor that creates psychological distress in officers but the accumulation of these stressors over time.
- Time markers in the policing profession that impacts officers’ well-being in both negative and positive ways.
- The unique circumstances that create further stress for leaders underlining the importance for leaders to take care of their wellness first to become effective change agents and spearhead wellness initiatives within agencies.
Questions from the webinar attendees are about:
- Differences in survey findings when comparing male and female officers.
- Vetted training programs for wellness visits.
- Where the survey’s final report can be accessed.
- Effectiveness of wellness systems that provide a 360-view of an officer’s environment.
- Submitting information for vetting of mental health professionals to the FOP directory.
- Questions to ask and what to look for in a culturally competent mental health service provider.
Resources and Handouts
- Resource Mentioned: FOP Wellness Provider Vetting Guide
- “All information was great.” — Christian
- “It gave me a better understanding of what many officers believe is most important. I hope to use the information gained from this webinar in future discussions with my superiors as well as support staff as a guide to providing better mental health support. Looking forward to getting the Executive Summary when it becomes available. Thank you.” — Stephanie
- “Excellent talk, and excellent work. Thank you both for sharing and for doing such a comprehensive substantive talk.” — Gabrielle
- “This topic was extremely informative.” — SCOTT
- “This is an issue that definitely needs to be addressed, thank you for bringing this to the forefront. — Mary
- I found the breakdown of factors officers found most distressing and the list of interventions officers found most effective helpful. Thank you for a great presentation!” — Nicole
- “This is a much-needed topic and I thank JCH and the FOP for convening and hosting a forum for these matters to be discussed.” — Robert
- “Both presenters had an overwhelming depth of knowledge on the topic and provided great follow resources. WONDERFUL Presentation!!! THANKS.” — Vivian