Safe Call Now

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Cops and their Kids...

By Safe Call Now's Dr. Laura Brodie

In my work with cops, I’ve worked with their kids. Cops need to hear what their kids are complaining about.  “He treats me like a suspect.” “She doesn’t trust me.” “He is cold and unfeeling, telling me what I’m doing wrong and never what I’m doing right.” But in talking to cops, I hear over and over how much they love their kids and remain confused about why their children do not feel their love.  Being a cop is a job that bleeds over to one’s personal life. The same can be said with psychologists.  We psychologists place our own children on the couch of “processing” everything instead of allowing our children to simply be kids. Cops tend to respond to rule breaking in a matter of fact way, slap on the cuffs and haul them in. But what if this person is your child?

Parenting is not policing and approaching your own child as a felon will only result in hurt and anger. Law enforcement individuals desire their children to turn out as law abiding.  This can result in a rigidity that does not allow the child to have a healthy rebellion and disagreement that can result in a healthy adult. Your kid is going to be a kid.  Your kid is going to push rules, hit buttons and try to be adult too soon.  Your job is to navigate this without instilling fear or doubt in your child, allowing freedom and individualization while monitoring for disaster. It’s a hard job. But in all of it you have to realize, this is your child who needs guidance and not an individual who needs harshness.

On the job a cop cannot accept disagreement, but as a parent you have to accept rebellion and understand that this rebellion allows for healthy development. If you police a child like a felon you risk multiple dangers. You tell your child he/she is untrustworthy, that they cannot make good decision and you know better than everyone else. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Secondary PTSD...

By Robert Rabe

Every critical incident has similarities, and differences.  In addition, every law enforcement officer's reaction to an incident is individual as well.  Some officers go through the process of integrating the experience into their psyche without difficulty.  Usually this is with the help of others (peer group counseling, debriefings).  It is difficult to an effectively process an incident alone.  The family is one of the primary contacts for processing stressful incidents. But what can the family possibly do to help the officer?  

The family can make sure that nothing is overlooked, especially, if medication is needed.  But sometimes medication or even intervention isn't enough.  If the officer has become sullen and melancholy, they are a different person than before the critical incident and onset of PTSD.  At this point, the family becomes the secondary victim, and loyalty is tested.  The spouse and the children can suffer from secondary PTSD, which is not widely recognized or discussed in the mainstream media.  Secondary PTSD is based on the concept, that those who care for or interact with the primary individual who suffers from PTSD, can also become traumatized.

Secondary PTSD results from having knowledge of a critical incident experienced by another individual and the stress from helping.  Secondary PTSD is nearly identical to PTSD except the exposure to the critical incident is indirect. Today, many law enforcement personnel and their families suffer from PTSD and the battle that rages within. But the good news is that PTSD and Secondary PTSD are treatable.  The next step is helping families to learn the characteristics of Secondary PTSD and where to look for help.  

Characteristics of Secondary PTSD Checklist:
(Dr. Oscar Ramirez)

Spouse fears what might happen the next time the officer has another fit of rage.
Spouse fears the officer will someday leave and abandon the family and never come back.
Spouse fears what might happen to the officer when they are not home.
Spouse fears “middle of the night surprises."
Spouse feels "if just one more thing happens, I'll lose my mind."

Monday, May 16, 2016

Can You Turn it Off???

By Safe Call Now's Dr. Laura Brodie

Academies teach how to turn it on.  They teach of being alert, learning body memory, run in when everyone is running out, save the innocent; do your job! But they never teach how to turn it off. The job teaches how to ramp up and be alert but now you’re alert at three am and reliving the day where you saw horrific things. You’re now just pissed and annoyed at any request made of you and you’re thinking to yourself, this isn’t me.

You roll your eyes at human pain.  You hate handling the public and you assume your job is going to demand all of you and give nothing in return. You’re angry. You’re so angry without a clue as to why. You just want everyone to leave you alone. You want to scream LEAVE ME ALONE! But as you fantasize of doing so you also see yourself as the worst person on the planet.

You’re staring at paperwork and wonder why you took the job. But, if you could go back in time you’d talk to your old self and realize you did want to do good.  You enjoyed helping the innocent. You took the job to help. What the hell happened?

You forgot you.  You forgot everything that made you a person except the job. You forgot you like playing music loud, watching silly comedies or reading a great book.  You forgot the people under your roof love you.  You forgot you had dreams of travel, of remodeling the home or restoring that car.  You lost you and you’re mad. But wait, who gave you away?  You did.  You bought into your identity as a hero and forgot your identity as a human.  You can find it again but it is hanging up the white hat and allowing yourself to return to the person who was not a savior, but just a person who enjoyed life. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Safe Call Now's "RAM" Program is Saving #1stresponders Like No Other

Safe Call Now

Safe Call Now is honored to announce our "RAM" Program (Rapid Assessment Mitigation) "The only complete and comprehensive continuum of care program for First Responders in America" that is either fully or partially covered by the first responders insurance.

For the first time in the history of the treatment and the healthcare industry Safe Call Now will be able to not only provide the premier 24 hour crisis referral services nationwide, national award winning training... we now have the ability to genetically test your DNA (pharmacogenetics) and blood for proper medications and predictor markers for PTSD, anxiety, depression, cardio, cancer and many more (which starts May 9th in Seattle, WA) through Onsite Integrated Wellness.

Safe Call now in conjunction with Ken Seeley Communities has developed a two week intensive workshop for first responders that has already been conducted and proven successful in the areas of PTSD, anxiety, depression, family of origin, relationship issues and many more topics.

We've always had the most outstanding substance abuse and mental health treatment providers available in America for first responders and we're proud to announce that all of our facilities have been trained by Safe Call Now. We also have online intensive outpatient services available to those first responders due to the many reasons they may not be able to attend a formal outpatient setting.  Bayside Marin - The Premier Recovery Center, Sierra Tucson Treatment CenterLa Hacienda Treatment Center, Warriors Heart, 360 Wellness, and Ken Seeley Communities continue to provide outstanding life saving treatment for those who serve

We're very excited to announce that Safe Call Now is launching our Family Program for all first responders and their family members that is like nothing anyone has ever seen before. The success of our first responders will always be in "Case Management". What happens after therapy or treatment? Plans, models and aftercare are prepared specifically for the first responders and their family members that are proven scientifically to increase the long term health and wellness of first responders.

Lastly (there will be more to come) Safe Call Now has created an accreditation program for all departments nationwide to become a model agency in the area of health and wellness through our policies and procedures which have been developed by the leaders in the industry. Look out for more to come... The world is a changing. Stay safe out there.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Safe Call Now's Peer Support & Mentoring Program

Safe Call Now's Captain Brian Nanavaty

Safe Call Now® and the Importance of Peer Support and Mentoring

“If you say to one flower, ‘Grow,’ but you water another, the first one won’t grow.” ~ Stephen Covey, The 8th Habit

The first line of defense against employee failure is the recognition of the first stages of peer crisis and by providing early intervention. Even better is to provide support from the first day of hire. This is difficult in the public safety environment for many reasons. Public safety employees are not trusting of individuals outside their peer groups. Public safety employees have heard hollow promises ad nauseam from those claiming to want to help. Public safety employees can quote horror stories of peers who have stepped forward for help only to face agency sanction or loss of employment. Public safety employees don’t want to appear weak by admitting they need help. And yes, public safety employees sometimes are too smart for their own good and resist attempts from well-intentioned peers unless it is already part of their agency culture.

Agencies with healthy active peer support and mentoring teams can successfully reduce the onset and life cycle of employee distress through a combination of proactive and reactive responses. Mentors are trained to work with new employees and coach them through the rough patches of early career. Peer support members help by responding to critical incidents or employee personal or professional crisis. Peer support members and mentors work in partnership to ensure long term support for peer employees and their families through a deliberate and cooperative design.