Being a Police Officer is amongst the most stressful and high-pressure jobs there are. Police will see more trauma, violence and human devastation in one shift than most people will see in a lifetime. This has a profound effect on mental health and emotional well-being.
Critical Stress, Mental Injury/Trauma and PTSD is a significant risk for all Police.
This is due to many contributing factors such as:
• The rise of violent crime
• The accumulative effect from years of Policing
• The hyper-vigilance and hyper-awareness that is difficult to turn off
• The stigma associated with Police asking for help with these impacts
• The lack of respect shown for Police by society and sections of the media.
• The increased scrutiny of Police actions due to technological advancement
• The prevalence of illegal drug activity and its violent effects on offenders
• The upsurge of physical violence towards Police
• Rising institutional pressures due to more media scrutiny creating a divide between Police and the community
• The advent of social media, allowing the rise of movements actively attacking Police and their actions.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by what you’ve experienced on duty? Do you ever feel like the world around you is closing in, and you can’t unwind? Do you ever have angry outbursts at those around you, or maybe you have become quiet and withdrawn? Do you ever feel like everyone else is OK while you feel like you’re losing it? We often don’t even realise that we are suffering from stress because as Police, we are constantly in a state of hyper-vigilance and awareness and it just seems “normal.” Many people involved in critical incidents can also suffer Critical Incident Stress Trauma and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for many years and not even realise. This can have a devastating effect on the individual, their family, their team and the organisation.
The stress and pressure experienced by our Police Officers are evidenced in the prevalence of divorce, alcoholism and other stress-related outcomes within the policing environment; and the well-above-average instances of workplace leave due to stress-related conditions. PTSD, Critical Incident Stress and depression are an injury incurred due to trauma and violence the professional has experienced. This can be in the form of one specific incident or an accumulation of many seemingly less traumatic events. Human beings are not built to withstand these types of encounters day in and day out. It will affect you.
The trainers at The Strong Life Project are experts in the field of stress management because they have lived through the worst and come out the other side.
Shaun O’Gorman tells his story of overcoming PTSD, depression and suicide to help remove the stigma surrounding Critical Stress and mental health for Police. Shaun helps Police prepare themselves for what they will experience in their careers and gives them the information to help inoculate themselves against the effects of their jobs.
During this workshop, participants will learn:
• The early indicators that someone is suffering from incident stress or PTSD
• How to identify the real causes of the stress
• How to deal with hyper-vigilance and hyper-awareness
• Why some people are affected and some are not
• How to overcome the feelings of weakness associated with getting assistance
• Positive strategies to deal with the physical and mental effects of Policing
• How to reduce and cope with the stress in our lives
• How to minimise the impact of the job on your family
• What is the difference between “good stress” and “bad stress.”
• 5 practical strategies that helped Shaun recover from PTSD, depression and suicide
• What we should do if we suspect another person may be having challenges
• Where to go for help if you feel you need some support
• What is PTSD and how to deal with it
• What is Critical Incident Stress Trauma and how to inoculate against it
We can uniquely tailor each package to the client’s requirements and location. At The Strong Life Project, our purpose is to “help Alpha personalities end their mental and emotional pain and suffering” by delivering practical, real-world strategies to deal with stress and by helping to break down the stigma surrounding mental health.
When we proactively deal with our mental health, like we do our physical health, we create more productive, effective and successful Police, Military and First Responders.
This is feedback from previous Critical Stress Training Workshops.
91.8% of participants have rated Shaun 5/5 as a presenter.
1. What was the most useful part of the workshop?
“It was absolutely fantastic, all QPS members should attend”
“Recognising early warning signs of stress”
“Open conversation – actually talking about mental health”
“Shaun talking about his own experiences & how he changed his life”
“Understanding that we are not alone. Encouraging a healthy lifestyle and talking about issues”
“Knowing that there are people who genuinely want to help you”
“Knowing to persist in asking people how they are”
“The interaction between Shaun and the group”
2. Any other general feedback about the presentation.
“Very well presented. Every OIC/supervisor in QPS should attend.”
“Keep up the great work, this will help so many people.”
“Very well spent 2 hours. Definitely recommend others to attend.”
“This should be compulsory for ALL members, especially management.”
“Very engaging presenter.”
3. Was there any part of the workshop that was not helpful or relevant to your own work or life?
– 100% of attendees answered No, or left question unanswered.
4. Other feedback received via email and messages.
“I attended this session today to listen to a good friend in Shaun O’Gorman. I was moved by his honesty and emotion; and his story, which, despite knowing him for over 25 years, I had never fully heard, or understood. Many things he spoke about I could relate to and recognise in my own ‘story’. I believe this workshop should be compulsory for every member. It’s an important message. It’s time we broke down the barriers, discarded any stigma about PTSD and openly talk to each other, recognise the signs and look after your mental health before you become mentally injured. Great work SOG. Keep it up mate. Phil Notaro”
” Shaun I was at your presentation today and just wanted to thank you for a fantastic talk. This was a real light bulb moment for me. I am 11 years in the job with the past 4 being in Scenes of Crime. Over the last 2 years I think I have started going downhill. Cranky, emotional, distant and like you said today if I died in the job then so be it. I’m the guy in the office that seems to have his shit together, the funny guy, the go-to guy. This is so far from the truth. I think this has made it difficult to talk to my people. I really got a lot out your presentation today and haven’t stop telling my wonderful wife. I am absolutely committed to changing my mindset. Thank you. Private message”
“We caught Shaun’s presentation this morning. It is both raw and insightful, whilst being 1,000,000% relevant. Shaun O’Gorman is the perfect instrument of delivery here whilst being wonderfully supported by Paul Casey. (Executive Director Health & Safety Queensland Police Service) The incredible underlying message is that both of these superb men genuinely care about cops and have done more than a few laps of both the operational and corporate sphere’s, allowing them to provide a no-holds barred, straight between the eyes appraisal of what WE AS COPS NEED in order to extend our mental and physical well being. GET TO THIS PRESENTATION and by that we mean GET ALL YOUR MATES as well… one word… Superb. Andrew Ayres”
“Shaun, I attended one of your seminars for the QPS a few days back in xxxxx. Since then I have listened to about twenty of your podcasts and have subscribed to your website. Everything you said really resonated with me. Sometimes I get so focused on continuing as normal and being the best I can be at work, the best mother and the best support for my husband. I forget to be the best me. You have reminded me of what I need to do and given me hope that my husband can work through his depression and PTSD. Thank you again, I look forward to your future podcasts. Private message”
“Hi Shaun. I attended today at xxxx. I have been on rehab for 12 months after attempting suicide 18 months ago. I was in uniform the day I tried. Spent weeks in hospital and have ongoing psychiatric and psychologist appointments. And medication to keep me balanced. Anyway I learnt things from you today to make my life stronger. What you are doing is so important. Don’t forget to look after yourself whilst helping others. Thank you. Private message”
“Hi Shaun, attended your workshop today and it was fantastic. Thank you so much for your insight, lessons learned & for working tirelessly to make our police world a better one. Sincere gratitude from Mark & I. Anna Dwyer”
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