Page 49 - FOP May 2019 Magazine
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 ance and assistance from a mental health professional can be done just to steer you on the right path.
“Always find a healthy way of releasing,” Reyes responds when considering the need to keep coming back to the wellness center. “Indulge in that. Indulge in that healthy way of releasing it.”
Dr. Kroll gained her first exposure to differences in police per- sonalities from the general population while doing clinical work in the addiction unit of a local hospital. She had one police pa- tient who relapsed repeatedly and realized that, in addition to PTSD, burnout, cumulative stress and alcoholism, mistrust and fear of abandonment contributed to the problems.
That fueled her desire to become certified in police and pub- lic safety psychology. That patient Dr. Kroll met 15 years ago has been sober since, and her acute ability to relate to the police cul- ture fueled the creation of the wellness center and the special touch she brings to it.
“Compassion and support, without question,” says Tim Gram- ins, an officer with the Skokie Police Department and member of Skokie FOP Lodge 6 who is part of the officer-involved shooting group, of Dr. Kroll. “You know she cares and that carries over into your ability to interact with Dr. Kroll. It’s just her level of concern and compassion for the officers and trying to help them.”
When you get right down to it, officers have gravitated to Dr. Kroll because she speaks their language.
“Robin understands the dynamics of policing,” Reyes adds. “It helps that she understands police terminology and police oper- ations, so you’re not having to explain some acronyms or some police culture.”
The Police and Public Safety Wellness Center launched in March with a suicide awareness seminar that packed the big room with the multiple rows of tables. The number of suicides by police officers during the past year has, of course, made suicide awareness one of the most important issues to address.
“Especially in Chicago,” she continued. “It’s important for ev- erybody to come and have a serious conversation about the is- sue.”
What she hopes those who attended saw was that there is noth- ing like this wellness center in Chicago and surrounding suburbs, independent of a hospital. Dr. Kroll also wants officers to know that this can be a haven not just for those who want to tune up their mental health but for those who are in recovery from trauma or addiction to continue to build healthy coping solutions.
And, that there’s complete confidentiality. There are no wor- ries, she says, about reporting back to the Department or putting the FOID card at risk.
But the ultimate hope might be that officers who come here realize they are not alone. Those who are coming are learning that there are many other officers who are experiencing the same stress and trauma, and that they can work through it, too.
“I’ve learned that it helps to talk about it and get it off my chest and to reflect on it,” Reyes confirms. “I’ve bonded with a lot of other officers who have been involved in similar incidents or shooting incidents. It gives me a lot of happiness and joy to know that I help them and they help me through it.”
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  CHICAGO LODGE 7 ■ MAY 2019 49

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