The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth. We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”. We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning. As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.
Below is an article from mindful.org on mindfulness in law enforcement.
Blue Courage’s Key Learnings:
- Researchers have linked policing careers to high rates of depression, PTSD, substance abuse, physical ailments (sleeplessness, diabetes, cardiac death)
- Officers are more prone to attempt suicide than general population and are more likely to kill themselves than get killed on duty
- Police culture values stoicism – causing officers to often become reluctant to seek out help
- Life expectancy for officers are 22 years shorter than civilian counterparts – may be due to stress, trauma, obesity, shift work and exposure to toxic chemicals
- When officers suffer from debilitating stress, they are more likely to have problems at work including uncontrolled anger towards suspects
- 963 people were shot dead by police in the US in 2016, 991 in 2015
- At the end of an 8 week mindfulness program (Mindfulness-based Resilience Training) researchers found significant improvement in health outcomes (stress, fatigue, sleep quality), less frequent alcohol consumption, less feelings of burn out, fewer aggressive feelings and behaviors
- Fatigue and sleep disturbance are predicators for dysregulated mood, particularly anger – anger is a big predicator of negative outcomes
- Emeryville, CA Chief’s story has great examples of how it has helped, as well as improved her department
- Study in Canada did a training on visualization, focused attention, and controlled breathing, then threw them into tense, lifelike situations – found the trained officers made better use-of-force decisions than the untrained control group, had a slower maximum heart rate and quicker recovery. A fast beating heart can cause irrational behavior