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The listings of additional resources of information or assistance within this site are provided solely for the convenience of and as a service to those using this site and are not endorsements by the Bureau of Justice Assistance or the Institute for Intergovernmental Research of the nature or quality of services provided by those resources.

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Warning Signs: How to Recognize Burnout

As administrators and supervisors, we need to be more proactive when it comes to the health and safety of our officers. In this SAFLEO podcast, instructor Michon Morrow, Assistant Chief with the Lincoln, Nebraska, Police Department, and Lori Luhnow, retired Chief of Police with the Santa Barbara, California, Police Department, discuss the critical role leaders play in recognizing the signs of stress and providing resources and peer support for their officers beginning on day one.

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Disconnecting From Duty

Can you just be you on your downtime? Join SAFLEO instructor George Mussini with the Baltimore County, Maryland, Police Department and Dr. Robert Sobo, director of the professional counseling division of the Chicago, Illinois, Police Department, as they discuss the importance of balancing your time on duty with your time off duty.

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Be an Agent of Change

Suicide prevention starts with you. This poster tells ways that you can be an agent of change in your department and for your fellow officers.

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Signs I Should Ask for Support

It is vital to evaluate your mental wellness and to know how to access support. Do you identify with any of the statements listed on this poster? Ask for help if you do. Do not suffer in silence.

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Personally Destructive Behavior Scenario

Have you known a fellow officer who is struggling with a professional or personal situation that could deteriorate and potentially lead to negative consequences for the officer? You may wonder how to assist or support your colleague. This eLearning module will present real world scenarios and give practical suggestions that may help you in offering support and identifying available resources for officers in need.

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Combating Law Enforcement Suicide

Learn about the National Suicide Awareness for Law Enforcement Officers (SAFLEO) Program and what it offers. A well, healthy officer and agency is a safer officer and agency. Health and wellness must receive the same level of attention as any other aspect of policing. Not only will the individual officer benefit, but so will their agency and the community they serve.

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Sources of Support

Are you struggling mentally or emotionally? There are many options for seeking help as well as support lines for immediate support. Don’t suffer in silence.

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What Happens When I Ask for Help? Removing the Mystery

Law enforcement officers throughout the nation collectively respond to thousands of calls daily that require them to face the unknown. The Web event seeks to remove the mystery regarding a different unknown, asking for help.

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Five Steps to Help an Officer Seeking Support

This infographic provides effective tools for supporting an officer who asks for help. Understanding these steps will help you be a resource if a fellow officer takes the courageous step of asking for assistance.

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Importance of Supporting Mindfulness for Law Enforcement

In this SAFLEO Podcast, Michon Morrow, a captain with the Lincoln, Nebraska, Police Department, has a conversation with Janet Sandman, retired captain, and Chris Davis, retired assistant police chief, about mindfulness through meditation and yoga. They discuss how mindfulness practices can benefit officers’ stress levels and mental health and increase their emotional intelligence during high-stress calls.

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The Cost of Alcohol as a Coping Mechanism

Law enforcement officers throughout the nation are frequently exposed to traumatic events during their shift. There is a substantial cost when choosing to use alcohol to cope with or avoid these traumatic experiences. Watch this Web event to see both the short- and long-term effects of alcohol misuse, identify ways to treat alcohol use disorder, and replace alcohol abuse with healthy coping skills.

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What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the act of being present in the moment and includes positive techniques that promote health, stability, well-being, and inner peace. The focus of mindfulness is dwelling in the now and getting rid of what has been. Practicing mindfulness techniques can help you maintain your focus in critical situations and be alert to the present moment. Utilizing mindfulness techniques can help organize your thoughts, address complicated emotions, be present in mind and space, and center your focus in critical situations. Explore a variety of mindfulness traditions and look for something that works for you.

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Enhancing Resilience by Embracing Courageous Vulnerability

It is okay not to be okay. For all officers, it is normal human behavior to be affected by traumatic events and experiences. An officer who chooses vulnerability and asks for help processing trauma is courageous. View this Web event and watch subject-matter experts as they discuss strategies for agencies to prepare and respond to courageous officers requesting assistance.

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The Dangers of Self-Medicating

Positive and negative experiences shape who you are. The negatives you see on the job can pile up and weigh on you. Alcohol may seem like a good option to help carry the weight, but it hides the physical and emotional damage you may be doing by trying to handle it all on your own. Self-medicating is masking the problem, not solving it. Asking for help is a sign of courage. Don't let the fear of how others may react stop you from seeking help.

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SAFLEO Officer Suicide Post-Event Response Guide

An officer suicide can add layers of mental and physical stressors to the agency's response. The information provided is based on research and professional experiences and will offer some best practices and considerations for the agency members and function, post-suicide.

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Building Barriers to Wellness

Are you building barriers to your own wellness? Do you allow yourself to make excuses to avoid things you don't want to do? Stop building barriers to a healthier, happier you. Every time you make a positive choice for a healthier you, you stop another hurdle from being added to your path.

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A Thousand Cuts

We all struggle with everyday stressors which can erode our physical health and resilience. Over time, the constant stressors may impact every part of who we are. You may reach a point where you struggle to find solutions. You need support. It's important to make connections with fellow officers who may understand what you are going through. There is strength in seeking help.

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Three Words

As an officer, you help people in their darkest times. You have seen a lot of things in your career. Things you don't want to talk about that are always with you. These memories can weigh you down over time. "I need help" are some of the most difficult but necessary words to say. It is your duty to help others, but also your duty to help yourself.

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4 Pillars of Resilience for Law Enforcement Officers

This infographic details what resilience is and the four types of resilience: physical, emotional, spiritual, and cognitive.

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Fear of Seeking Assistance

In law enforcement, fear is tied to vulnerability, and vulnerability is seen as a weakness because that’s what the culture tells you. Your training teaches you to be courageous for others, but not for yourself. Use that courage to ask for help when you need it. It is important to be healthy mentally and physically.

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What is Your Why- Vest

This poster encourages you to think of your family as your ?why? and wear your vest every shift.

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What is Your Why- Family

This poster encourages you to think of your family as your WHY for staying safe and well.

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Executives and Mental Health

In this SAFLEO Sessions Podcast, John Bouthillette, a lead instructor with the SAFLEO Program, has a conversation with Dr. Olivia Johnson, the program advisor and lead instructor for the SAFLEO Program, about the role of law enforcement leadership in officer mental health. They discuss how every executive has a responsibility to the health and safety of their officers and what that looks like in an organization.

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Lessons Learned: Mental Wellness After a Critical Incident

In this SAFLEO Podcast, Michon Morrow, captain at the Lincoln, Nebraska, Police Department with 23 years of experience, has a conversation with Lieutenant Mike Madden, who spent 28 years in law enforcement before retiring from the San Bernardino, California, Police Department. Lieutenant Madden worked in a variety of roles during his career and was amongst the first responding officers on the scene following the San Bernardino terrorist attack in 2015, a mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center. They discuss his journey in the aftermath of that attack, how it impacted him and his department, and the lessons that were learned.

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Developing Peer to Peer Support Groups

In this SAFLEO Podcast, Floyd Wiley with the SAFLEO Program has a conversation with Officer George Mussini, a 22-year veteran of the Baltimore County, Maryland, Police Department, about a peer-to-peer support group Officer Mussini developed for his agency after he was involved in a critical incident. They discuss how peer-to-peer support is so important, some of the hurdles that they had to overcome to create an effective peer group, and how you can start one for your agency.

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Mid-Level Support Networks

In this SAFLEO Podcast, Brandon Post, a captain with the Provo, Utah, Police Department, has a conversation with Matthew Faulk, a law enforcement and public service sector contractor, about mid-level leadership and mid-level support networks. They discuss how supervisors must take care of themselves first before they can take care of other people and where they can go to receive support.

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Debriefing Trauma

In this SAFLEO Sessions Podcast, Chief Dan Stump (retired) with the SAFLEO Program has a conversation with Sergeant Matt Faulk of the Tucson, Arizona, Police Department about debriefing after a traumatic event. They discuss how the effects of a traumatic event linger well beyond the end of the actual event and how important and beneficial it is to debrief after such an event.

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Five Impediments to Success in Law Enforcement

In this SAFLEO Podcast, Chief John Bouthillette, a lead instructor with the SAFLEO Program, has a conversation with retired Captain Brian Nanavaty, a 33-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, about five factors that are barriers to the success of law enforcement officers and how to overcome those challenges.

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Professional Development and Wellness Programs

In this SAFLEO podcast, Chief John Bouthillette, a lead instructor with the SAFLEO Program, has a conversation with retired Captain Brian Nanavaty, a 33-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, about officer wellness programs and the process Captain Nanavaty went through in developing a wellness program for his department. They discuss the ?why,? personal survival, preventative maintenance, and the leadership it takes to develop a program that will benefit your officers.

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Compartmentalization is a necessary skill in law enforcement to be able to continue to operate. In this SAFLEO Sessions Podcast, Chief John Bouthillette, a lead instructor with the SAFLEO Program, has a conversation with Captain Brandon Post from the Provo, Utah, Police Department about a critical incident in Captain Post?s career. Officers are often involved in events that are extremely emotionally impactful. These incidents have a cumulative impact and can affect you when you do not expect it.

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Smash the Stigma

In this podcast, Floyd Wiley, a lead instructor with the VALOR Program, is joined by John Bouthillette, a retired chief of police from the South River, New Jersey, Police Department and a lead instructor for the SAFLEO and VALOR Programs. They discuss the concept of smashing the stigma and how it is important for leaders to establish an organizational culture of safety and wellness in their agencies.

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Effective suicide prevention training must have a comprehensive approach, focusing on occupational risks and support from law enforcement agencies, colleagues, families, and friends. To combat law enforcement suicide, agencies must place a priority on officer wellness with the same level of attention as tactical training. This goes beyond being just an agency responsibility; we all must place this issue as a priority—it is critical and could mean the difference between life and death.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) believes that the law enforcement community deserves better access to officer wellness resources and suicide prevention strategies. It has created a multifaceted approach to address law enforcement suicide. The SAFLEO Program is one of two critical pieces under this work and is funded under the Officer Robert Wilson III Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement Officers and Ensuring Officer Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) Initiative. BJA, through SAFLEO, provides training, technical assistance, and resources to law enforcement agencies, staff, and families, to raise awareness, smash the stigma, and reduce and prevent law enforcement suicide.

SAFLEO closely collaborates with the National Consortium on Preventing Law Enforcement Suicide, BJA's second critical program in its work to reduce and prevent law enforcement suicide. SAFLEO uses the Consortium's findings and outcomes to ensure that the latest information and strategies in suicide prevention are being addressed in SAFLEO's curriculum and resources.

Protecting our protectors, there is strength in seeking help.
The National Suicide Awareness for Law Enforcement Officers (SAFLEO) Program goes beyond traditional law enforcement training by:
  • 01
    Incorporating emerging techniques relating to learning and behavior change in the development of curricula and publications.
  • 02
    Streamlining training visuals and developing imagery-driven and interactive presentations.
  • 03
    Providing numerous eLearning opportunities to regularly reinforce learning concepts.
  • 04
    Using the latest research in suicide ideation, root causes of officer suicide, risks, protective factors, and awareness.
  • Providing numerous eLearning
    Collaborating with organizations that share a common interest to #SmashTheStigma around law enforcement, mental wellness, and suicide.

BJA is building this critically important program by bringing together these strategic partners:

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