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Trauma Awareness and Stress Management Conference for the Cops

Galen University held a workshop on stress management and trauma awareness at the San Ignacio Resort in San Ignacio. The target group comprises of people who have perhaps one of the most stressful jobs other than health care workers and that is the police. Over 30 police officers went to class today and received the tools they needed to dissolve on the job stress and to dialogue with people who are experiencing trauma. Kendra Hoyt, a lecturer at Galen University and Jarrod Sadulski, a professor who has conducted research in the area conducted a session that they deemed successful.

Kendra Hoyt Lecturer, Galen University: “This particular court covers Belmopan, Belize, precinct 2,3 and 4 and a few from precinct 1 and San Ignacio. I happen to be a life coach counselor and my background training is that of a counseling therapist. I do the work for Galen specifically as well as being the criminal justice lead instructor and I work directly with the president so a lot of my background for the last 27 years has been focused on this very work. I know my colleague Jarrod has done extensive research in the area of stress management. He himself was a law officer and so combined I think we have a wealth of information, research and experience. We would say to you that most first responders be it the emergency personnel,  hospitals, fire fighters, Police officers, social workers, therapist such as myself are dealing with what I would say first level trauma but also secondary and tertiary trauma by way of the exposure of the people that they are dealing with, the incidents that they are dealing with; emergency personnel and so again it would be my hope that perhaps the Ministry of Human Development may also embrace the idea of doing nationwide training.”

Jarrod Sadulski Professor: “It is an opportunity to get together with the Police officers local and as well as across the nation to discuss some of the current events in Police since involving stress and it was a very rewarding morning hearing the officers discuss ways that they can successfully cope with stress and I see a lot of progress occurring with stress management and policing.”

Reporter: “So tell us about your background and how you are helping these officers today?”

Jarrod Sadulski Professor: “Well I am a criminal justice professor and I am also a Dr. I have a PHD in criminal justice. I have spent a couple years researching Police stress. I conducted a study in the United States on Police stress so I came here to speak as an academic looking and discussing the different ways to manage Police stress based on what I found through my research. I found that Police stress is similar in everyone wherever you are in the world. I find that both the positive and  the adverse coping mechanisms for dealing with Police stress are also similar around the world and in that some of the most successful Police officers that I have had the opportunity to speak with have really identified ways of managing stress that have included using pure support and developing those relationships with coworkers that have had similar experiences. Also having a life and identity away from the badge. Successful Police officers that I have met from around the world in this research tend to have goals and identity outside of being a Police officer and a lot of these are related to post their Police career as well as goals outside of Policing while they are currently serving.”

Reporter: “Have you seen first hand how the officers benefit from these seminars?”

Jarrod Sadulski Professor: “Yes I have, I have received feedback from officers who have said that the seminars have been helpful. I have had family members of officers contact me and say they have seen changes and benefits from the work that we have done in sharing this research.”

The facilitators said that they believe it would be useful to conduct the seminar with other cohorts that may need to learn the skills associated with stress management and trauma awareness.