The Future of Wellness for Law Enforcement, Fire, and Other High-Stress Occupations
Thank you Gordon for the very kind and thoughtful introduction, and thank you to everyone reading this for your exceptionally important service and the countless sacrifices you make for others. People in public safety professions are the foundation of our society, responding rapidly and continuously to emergencies and dangers in service of our greater good. You perform the most important work of all, and let’s never forget how important you are to the ongoing survival of our nation and our communities.
Let’s also be very clear that your wellness and well-being are of great importance, and that the high rates of acute and chronic stress, trauma, depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicide experienced in the public safety professions are both unacceptable and untenable. Armed with this awareness, we all now bear a tremendous responsibility to not merely “do something” but to do our absolute best to provide the most comprehensive and trusted tools and resources to support you throughout your careers. How can we justify doing anything less?
Last year, the very first Cordico Wellness App launched at the Vacaville Police Department to great acclaim, and soon we realized that countless public safety agencies could benefit from this solution. Chief Carli wanted an innovative, on-demand wellness solution for all of his personnel and their significant others, so that is precisely what we created. Public safety agencies of all types and sizes from around the United States are now making plans to launch Cordico Wellness Apps to support the wellness and well-being of their personnel, and not a moment too soon given that the safety and wellness of our vital public safety personnel hang in the balance.
Every Cordico Wellness App is customized to reinforce the strength of each agency’s culture and incorporate any existing resources (such as peer support and chaplain support) while bolstering areas of need (such as access to more competent therapists). The technology even allows for access to HIPAA-encrypted video portals to work with therapists in remote locations, which can help people receive services when a trip to a therapist’s physical office is impractical or too inconvenient.
The Cordico Wellness Apps can be utilized with confidence. No one should ever feel blocked from accessing help at times of need due to concerns about confidentiality, and that is especially true for our public safety personnel who dedicate their professional lives responding to others’ emergencies. This is why the technology allows for both anonymous and confidential access.
Every Cordico Wellness App comes pre-built with an incredible range of high-quality resources in the Cordico Wellness Toolkit. Topics include alcohol, anger management, behavioral health, critical incidents, depression, emotional health, family support, financial fitness, marital success, mental toughness, mindfulness, peak performance, peer support, psychological first aid, posttraumatic stress, resilience, sleep optimization, stress management, and much, much more. Law enforcement agencies can even get it pre-loaded with a great overview of Dr. Kevin Gilmartin’s Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement. You get the picture: The Cordico Wellness Apps are packed full of helpful tools, articles, videos, and other resources, with more content being added on a regular basis.
Some of the most powerful tools within the Cordico Wellness Apps are the built-in self-assessments, which give you immediate and confidential feedback on how you score in areas such as depression and PTSD. These “canaries in the coal mine” are designed to empower you with vital feedback, so you can take necessary action before more serious damage occurs. Think of it this way: If your hand is getting close to a hot burner, you want feedback sooner rather than later, yet up until now what has been done to provide our public safety personnel with on-demand, confidential access to a reliable mental health early warning system? Perhaps this lack of an early warning system is partly to blame for the fact that emotional support is so often provided only in a reactive fashion following critical incidents (i.e., when one’s hand is essentially in contact with a red-hot element) rather than in a strategically proactive manner to maximize the long-term protection, safety, and wellness of our nation’s heroes.
The Cordico Wellness Apps are also a gateway to accessing the most trusted support resources available. The Cordico Therapist Finders make it possible to browse and select from select professionals who provide counseling and therapy services for fire, law enforcement, and other public safety personnel and their spouses. Many of these professionals allow their cell phone numbers to be built into the Cordico Wellness Apps, allowing for more rapid and responsive access during times of need. We also build in access to local peer support and chaplain support resources, when available, and any other local supportive resources desired by departments. The Cordico Wellness Apps also provide a platform to share access to resources across multiple agencies, if preferred, along with easy access to valuable nationwide resources.
To get more information about providing the Cordico Wellness App for your agency, simply visit www.cordico.com/fire (fire service), www.cordico.com/shield (law enforcement), or www.cordico.com/guardian (all high-stress professions), or simply call us toll-free at 1-844-CORDICO (1-844-267-3426) ext. 0. You can also request a webinar overview and live demo at www.cordico.com/webinar.
Thank you again for the exceptional work you perform and the sacrifices you make for the greater good, and please do all you can to take good care of yourself and each other. Next week, we’ll publish Part III of this series by Chief John Carli, a highly respected Police Chief who has a unique and very powerful story to share about wellness, innovation, leadership and how to help better care for the people who perform stressful, dangerous, and critically important work for the benefit of our communities.