Wellness Basic Training, Part 1: Know Your Starting Point

anxiety cops depression law enforcement mental health police stress wellness wellness training Aug 09, 2022

What is Your Starting Point?

The stress involved with being a cop creates many issues.

These include: 

  • Burnout
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Overweight
  • PTSD
  • Alcohol issues or abuse*
  • Drug issues or abuse*
  • Suicidal ideation*
  • Uncontrollable anger
  • Cynicism
  • Losing your personal life

We all know this. We read about it all the time.

Death by suicide among law enforcement officers is happening way too much. **

People like to talk about the importance of focusing on your “wellness” and taking care of your mental health to prevent this sad and catastrophic outcome, but I don’t see many people telling you what that means or how to do it. 

What about you?

You don’t need to be a cop for very long to start feeling the effects of the job. 

Which one of the issues listed above resonates with you the most? Are these one of the areas in which you feel that you are struggling?

Perhaps you know you are having issues, but you are not sure what to do about it.

Know Your Starting Point

Before you go too far down the “Debbie Downer” road, I must tell you the key to this process.  It’s not about listing all of the ways that the life of a law enforcement officer can be awful or all the ways you are doing it “wrong.”

Rather, this is an opportunity to look for the areas you want to work on, aka opportunities for improvement.

This is where you begin your wellness journey- by recognizing where you are in this moment. 

Only then can you decide where you want to go. 

Knowing your issues is like putting an address in the map app on your phone. 

You say I need to go to Costco, and your app asks you only one question: “Where are you starting from”?

It does not ask you how awful traffic is around you or how bad it is all around town. 

Nor does it ask how you ended up here or why you took that awful route beforehand. 

It does not attach judgment to the status of things.

Instead, it simply asks where you are starting from to help get where you want to go.

That’s the first step in creating and defining a wellness training routine for yourself, to know where you start from.

And that's where the Protective Wellness Basic Training Program starts. We are looking to figure out where you are now as the starting point, and then we will figure out where you want to go. 

So, what is it that you want to work on? Look at the list above. 

And, I ask you to look at it as an opportunity, not a problem.  Not what's wrong with me? Not how did this happen? 

This is simply recognizing opportunities to create change and to create happiness.

Do The Work! Make a List.

Now that you’ve read this far, how about a little homework?

Spend the next three to five minutes writing down what your issues are, aka, what your opportunities are.  Which one of the issues above applies to you? What is your starting point?

This is the start of designing a wellness training plan that is right for you. 


Stay tuned for Part 2: The Importance of Routines and Habits.

**If you are suffering from depression, alcohol or drug issues, or experiencing suicidal ideation, many programs are available that were designed with you, the law enforcement officer, in mind.  One of those is the Shatterproof First Responders' Program, designed specifically for and by first responders who understand your world.  Don't wait- reach out now!


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