Page 39 - February 2021
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  Mental Health and Wellness Support
A resource guide for Chicago Lodge 7 members
 A message from EAP
 Professional Counseling Division Call for help Peer Support Team
Widely trained clinicians and addiction who have taken a 40-hour training counselors available 24/7/365
CPD Employee Assistance Program
312-743-0378 The peer support team includes 300 officers
    EAP helps navigate deep waters together
Each month, the Professional Counseling Division of the Department’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides a message to promote better mental health for Chicago Police Officers. This month, Dr. Robert Sobo, director of the Professional Counseling Division, shares how Chicago Police Officers can become proactive, rather than reactive, about their mental health.
No man is an island.
Such words, warning readers about the dangers of isolating from others, start the 1624 poem “No Man Is an Island” by John Donne. It still rings true nearly 400 years later, particularly for law enforcement officers regarding their mental health in 2021.
Chicago Police are facing an extraordinary number of stress- ors, and they’re understanding how much emotional well-being affects decision-making. Mental wellness can affect impulses. It can affect how fast one is able to think through the consequences of actions taken in a response. Perhaps most importantly, it can af-
fect conscious decisions of how and when to use different types of force.
In recognizing how tough it is out on the streets, more officers than ever are being proac- tive and seeking help from the Professional Counseling Division. They’re understanding that they need assistance to prepare for the
difficult shifts, as well as debrief, because no man is an island.
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
More and more, well-being is a team approach. It’s important
that officers take a look at their mental health and make sure that the brain, perhaps the most important piece of equipment for law enforcement, is in good working order before hitting the streets.
By taking care of mental well-being, it becomes easier to sup- port other officers and be at your best for family members. Con- tributing to the collective mental wellness of the Department can be achieved in a few simple steps. Identify and talk about emo- tions and come in for counseling. Encourage colleagues to utilize the mental health services as well. Be vocal about the importance of not living life in mental isolation.
Look at it this way: Think of clinicians in the Professional Coun- seling Division like primary care physicians. Prioritize at least an annual checkup for a proactive approach to improving mental wellness, rather than only seeking counseling at the lowest points.
And you don’t have to handle mental health alone. There have been positive responses from command staff about continuing to supply more wellness resources.
Officer wellbeing is one of the most important issues that the Department is currently facing. The more involved command staff feel in the team effort, the more responsive they are, and the more they’re ready to participate in the well-being of the men and wom- en that they supervise.
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind.
People as a whole are recognizing the level of stress and difficul-
ty that exists in the world today. Now add in the layer of working 12-hour shifts every day for 20 days straight as Chicago Police Of- ficers continue to do, and it’s the perfect storm for a mental and
physical toll.
Before the turmoil of 2020 that has spilled into 2021, law en-
forcement was an extremely difficult profession on a good day. With all the added pressures and circumstances that the world is facing, it makes mental well-being more vulnerable now than ever.
If you talk to people in a way that communicates complete un- derstanding of their situations, then they’re more open to listen- ing. That’s why it’s crucial that officers reach out to other officers — they’re the ones who can thoroughly understand the current moment law enforcement is living through. Make sure that not only you are OK, but your family’s OK and your police partners are OK.
And after checking in on coworkers, seek out the Professional Counseling Division, which is currently one of the most heavily utilized mental health services of any police department in the country. It is a nationally recognized program that serves as a model for many other cities.
An opportunity for Chicago Police Officers to leave their own islands and pursue collective mental well-being is right at their fingertips. With the variety of comprehensive services offered to members and immediate family members, there is extreme per- sonalization for the experience of working as a member of the De- partment.
Clinicians are available around the clock and act as familiar, trusted faces that are part of every unit and district. While other officers can give insight on specific situations, the Professional Counseling Division brings professionalism to mental well-being for thousands of officers every year.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Talk to other officers about using professional services as pre-
ventive measures, rather than reactions to massive events. Many Chicago Police Officers have started seeking counsel from the Pro- fessional Counseling Division on their own accord to voluntarily take a proactive approach to mental health and maintain overall well-being.
Using these vital services before hitting the streets is going to ensure that your mental tools — critical thinking, decision-mak- ing, sharp focus — are well-maintained. Protecting well-being be- forehand is just as important as coming in afterward.
Surviving harm and advancing positive mental health is a team mentality. Put supportive friends, family members and coworkers on your team. Do not be afraid to talk to colleagues or profession- als when a sense of well-being is compromised, either due to a professional or personal issue.
And remember: No man is an island. Reaching out for help is the most proactive way to take care of your mental health and be- come the most resilient officer possible.

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