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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Peer Support & Vicarious Traumatization

By Sgt. Christopher Scallon - Institute for Responder Wellness

Originally posted 5/23/16 on the International Association of Chief’s of Police blog 

Law enforcement has found itself adrift within the “perfect storm” of public mistrust, increasingly violent encounters, and the one-dimensional social media soapbox. The struggle to maintain our bearing, for the purposes of establishing some semblance of order and trust amidst such disdain is taking its toll. The vast majority of law enforcement professionals are just that…professional. It is because of these professionals that I am honored to be a part of an internal system tasked with addressing the inherent exposure to trauma by officers experienced on all fronts; peer support.

As a trauma survivor of a deadly force encounter, I can attest to the need for peer support. At the time, no formalized peer support unit existed for me to utilize. However, friends and a strong wife (also in law enforcement) helped me to find my way again. It was during my shooting review board that a respected supervisor pulled me aside and assured me that I would recover and I would eventually use my personal experience to help others.

Challenge Accepted!!! 
The next few years were dedicated to obtaining the academic qualifications, certifications, and revisiting my experiences with the new eyes of a trauma-informed professional. I became a peer for several non-profit organizations and reached out to anyone I knew was involved in a critical incident. Unfortunately, my greatest opposition to providing help was the stigma associated with asking for it. It was clear, I needed to become a champion for change by sharing my uncensored experiences. I requested to teach a block of instruction for all new recruits titled, “Survival Mindset: Preparing for and Learning to Survive Trauma.” Pleasantly surprised, I was met with an overwhelming interest and acceptance of the concepts. A single class evolved into a sought-after presentation to surrounding police academies, and eventually around the country.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

"Catching Hell"

By Jay Dobyns - Federal Agent. Author. Keynote Speaker

Jay Dobyns was hired by ATF on a Monday in 1987. 4 days later he was shot point-blank in the back by a criminal suspect. The bullet travelled through his lung and exited his chest. He was 26 years old.

While in the hospital, he rejected offers from attorneys who promised millions of dollars in a lawsuit against his agency.

He rushed back to work and for the next 27 years, enthusiastically accepted every dirty and dangerous assignment possible. Some days he succeeded, on others he failed, but all he ever wanted to do was to defend and protect people who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do that for themselves. Every morning when his alarm clock went off he was excited to investigate violent crime on behalf of the American public.

Death threats mounted from street criminals. At a point in time three international crime syndicates held contracts to murder him, gang rape his wife, torture his teenage daughter and kidnap his adolescent son.

He was again shot in the back. This time not by a suspect, but by the government and executives he worked for; abandoned and marginalized, the threats and dangers ignored.

In 2008, his home was destroyed by an arsonist. Jay’s wife and kids were inside and narrowly escaped. Jay’s bosses attempted to frame him as the arsonist and thus, someone willing to murder his own family by fire.

What came next was corruption and cover-up of proportions that few would ever believe our government was capable of.

This is his true story…

What they're saying about “Catching Hell”

“Jay lived the roles in life that I live to play in movies.” 
Gerard Butler, Actor, 300, Olympus/London Has Fallen, Law Abiding Citizen, Hunter Killer, Den of Thieves

“Jay was the most effective undercover officer to ever tape on a body wire and walk into the Devil’s trailer court. 
God forbid the weak or innocent were ever bullied in his presence.”

- Louie Quinonez, ATF Agent (ret.) and author of the bestseller, Satchel Boy 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fire Services Psychology Association

Fire Services Psychology Association

Education, Research, and Service

The transformative educational and treatment experiences at The Fire Service Psychology Association are designed to help firefighters grow both in and out of the job. Our focus is to empower mental health clinicians to understand the unique needs of firefighters and their families and provide direct trainings and services to departments. Founded in 2017, The Fire Service Psychology Association is located in Southern California and offers services to departments, families, and individuals. We are dedicated to empowering the fire service through advancing the field of psychology through research. Whether you are a mental health clinician, fire department leader, or someone looking for services, we welcome you. Join us!

The Fire Service Psychology Association provides an innovative approach to supporting the behavioral health of fire service members. We believe through effective education and intervention, we can develop and maintain psychological health for years to come. Founded in 2017, our organization is located in Southern California although we offer services to fire department members across the country.  Our staff is comprised of members specifically trained to treat fire service members.  Are you ready to learn more? Contact us at (626) 765-4951.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The #suckitptsd Campaign

The #suckitptsd campaign was started during the Summer of 2015 when a patient who was conquering PTSD sent this hashtag to Dr. Glenn via text on a day that was particularly monumental in her recovery. #suckitptsd became a mantra, a motto and a campaign that resulted in an overwhelming response from followers on Facebook and Twitter. 

Soon after the same patient created the prototype for the wrist band that is now bringing together a community of first responders, veterans and active duty military members who want to raise awareness, fight PTSD, encourage resilience and help others. If you would like wrist bands, please email Tania at Include a mailing address and the number of bands that you want. We fight this together!