Author: Jessica Terrizzi
Published: May 11 2022
Last Edit: May 11 2022
(5 min read)
The value of police officer wellness programs is becoming more widely known and more widely researched. Congress passed the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act to address police officer mental health and wellness in early 2018. There is even an award given to police departments by Destination Zero each year for promoting the overall well-being of their officers, which shows the increasing awareness of this issue. As discussed in our post on wellness programs, these programs offer a wide range of benefits to officers through services including peer-support programs, family trainings, and access to mental health professionals.
In order to see what else is being offered to police officers in terms of wellness programs and initiatives, I decided to do a deep dive into the current resources available. Through my research, I was able to find many other wellness-related resources that have been created specifically for police officers (besides those available to the Arlington County Police Department). Each site that I came across seemed to offer slightly different material, such as apps, trainings, and blog posts that all provide unique and valuable information. It is important for police officers to be aware of these, but it can be difficult to navigate all the information they contain. So, to help people find the resources they need, I created a guide to my top 5 police wellness resources.
The IACP website offers resources such as papers, assessment tools, and information about current police officer related initiatives, and is extremely informative. Compared to the other websites that I looked into, this one seems to be the most up to date, exhaustive, and user friendly. To me, the most unique part of this site is that it includes a police officer wellness online community, which allows officers to connect with other individuals who are involved in public safety. This organization also holds a yearly police officer safety and wellness symposium, and provides both webinars and toolkits on so many topics. Ultimately, this is my favorite website that I reviewed because of its diversity in resources and its inclusion of hands-on opportunities.
Valor for Blue focuses on police officer safety, in addition to wellness. There are some trainings offered that are relevant to police officer wellness, however, it seems that the most valuable aspect of their site in terms of wellbeing is their blog posts. They also have some informative videos and podcasts regarding officer mental health and coping strategies, which are definitely worth checking out. The most unique aspect of this organization that stuck out to me is the option for officers to download the Valor app onto their phones. I really like this website due to its versatility and the fact that it offers different forms of resources (podcasts, videos, readings) to police officers. It is important to note that to access some of the materials on this site, though, officers do need to register for a free account.
Cordico is another organization that has a great collection of resources for police officers, which can be accessed through their website, or their app. Officers can also read papers related to well-being, and can view data sheets on this topic. If you are looking for more blog posts, Cordico partnered with Police1 to create a great website that posts about a variety of wellness related topics (both physical and mental), and is updated frequently. Various blog posts can be found on the Cordico website as well, and these are also updated regularly. A unique aspect of this organization is the many presentations that they put on for police officers across the country that cover a variety of topics. Information about these events can also be found within their website.
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has a division of wellness services that provides officers with wellness education, newsletters, access to clinicians who are culturally competent, and other relevant resources such as trainings and research reports. The most notable part of this site, to me, is the vetting guide that it provides for LEOs to find competent clinicians. This site also mentions that a curriculum for peer support training is being developed, however, it is not yet published. Users should note that this site is not as updated as it should be, and the last newsletter it published was in December of 2020. Despite this, the FOP still has valuable information and is a beneficial organization for officers to be aware of.
The United States Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has acknowledged the importance of police officer wellness, and put together a resource center related to both mental and physical well-being. Overall, this resource library is extremely thorough and has an extensive list of links to articles, toolkits, and videos for officers to take advantage of. Topics addressed on this site are physical wellness, financial wellness, mental wellness, and resilience, to name a few. While there is a long list of valuable resources, I found this site to be slightly overwhelming and a bit less user friendly than some of the other websites that I reviewed.
Personally, I find it encouraging to see all of the work that is being done to promote police officer well-being. As we know, this is immensely important due to the negative consequences that can result from poor officer well-being. From what I have gathered, it does not seem that many officers are even aware of the many resources that are available to them. Hopefully this guide will help to show officers that there are many places that offer wellness related services for them. If we missed any resources you have found helpful, let us know!
Jessica Terrizzi, M.A.
Ph.D Student in Counseling Psychology
Jess is a 4th year doctoral student at the University of Akron. She has a strong interest in law enforcement due to her family’s extensive background in policework. Through experiences with family and friends who are in this field, Jess has recognized a need for applying psychology to law enforcement through both research and the development of wellness programs. Jess also has an interest in researching both masculinity and trauma, and plans on working with police officers in the clinical setting.
This post does not provide medical or clinical advice and is no substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is intended for informational purposes only. Visitors who access the post and rely on its content do so at their own risk. This post represents the opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the foundation. If you are feeling lost or hopeless, or someone you know is feeling lost or hopeless, call the national suicide prevention hotline at (800) 273-8255.
© 2022 The Cummings Foundation for Behavioral Health. All Rights Reserved.