Emergency first responders suffer immeasurably from being consistently immersed in suffering, danger, violence and tragedies that can permanently leave scars on their soul. Offering advice and support for understanding the challenges of responding to violence and suffering, Bulletproof Spirit shows first responders and their loved ones how to protect and nurture their spirits, and also how to seek help and make effective use of the help that exists, from professionals, peers, and families.
Without specific training regarding how to protect, sustain, and nurture the spirit within, first responders will inevitably continue to become victims of the profession they love. Statistics and headlines speak for themselves as first responders fall victim to destructive habits and disorders, including alcoholism, gambling, depression, PTSD, emotional illness, divorce and broken families and worse — spousal abuse, murder, and suicide. “This leaves the safety of our communities vulnerable since the safety and well-being of any community is critically linked to the wellness of the first responder’s mind, body, and spirit,” according to Willis.
Willis is an active duty police officer with more than 25 years of experience and a leader of Peer Support/Emotional Survival classes for first responders.
Consider these facts:
200 cops commit suicide every year. It is the leading cause of death in active duty police officers and a significant problem for all emergency first responders.
On average, one active duty soldier and 21 veterans commit suicide every day.
Only 3% of police agencies have a suicide awareness/prevention program.
Up to 18% (about 120,000) of active duty police suffer Post Traumatic Stress; 200,000 military veterans have PTSD.
Tens of thousands of first responders suffer from acute-debilitating stress, emotional problems, and serious physical ailments
The book delves into these topics:
Why first responders are susceptible to depression, PTSD, and emotional suffering
The warning signs that a first responder is in danger
The top 5 things a first responder can do to counteract the significant negative effects of the job
The top 3 things family members can do to offer support and care
Why it is vital that first responder agencies offer an employee wellness program
Why is it essential for everyone to be concerned about the well-being of their community first responders
Chaplains and Peer Support Teams – how agencies can establish and maintain programs to help first responders (continued)
With its practical, field-tested, first-responder-ready suggestions and steps to relieve PTSD, depression, anxiety, and create peace for first responders and their loved ones, Bulletproof Spirit is the first guide designed to help those who work side by side with death and violence cope to protect their own quality of life.
La Mesa Police Captain Dan Willis is a former homicide investigator and SWAT commander who has developed wellness programs and specializes in providing emotional survival and wellness training to first responders. He is a graduate of San Diego State University and the FBI National Academy. He lives in San Diego, CA
To learn more about the book, please visit www.FirstResponderWellness.com