First of Its Kind Training Helps Officers Dealing With Mental Health Issues

More than a dozen local and state police officers, dispatchers and other members of public safety gathered in a first of its kind training in California, centered on how to deal with mental health and trauma.

The FBI National Academy Associates (FBINAA), in conjunction with Acadia Healthcare, hosted a resilience training for local law enforcement at Santa Monica College in December.

The 12-step curriculum, derived from military training and tailored to public safety and first responders, is designed to create a healthier police force. The belief is this mindset and training can be incorporated into local departments and will lead to safer communities. The training will give men and women in blue the tools they need to address mental health issues resulting from trauma and to change the culture within the profession.

"There is a stigma in our profession where we don’t want to share and talk about our feelings," Johnnie Adams, Chief of Santa Monica College Police and President of the FBINAA.

"Not only will it help them in their lives with their coworkers, family and friends but also when they contact the public," Adams added.

The NBC4 I-Team first brought this issue of mental health and law enforcement to the surface earlier this month. More than 600 LAPD officers responded to their exclusive survey about stress on the job and why it’s so hard to reach out for help.

Seventy-eight percent reported they worry about being seen as unfit for duty while 67 percent are concerned about putting their jobs at risk, according to the survey.

For more on the survey and steps being taken with the Los Angeles Police Department including training and peer support click here

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