Help for Burnout, Stress, and Anxiety from COVID-19
INSIGHTS FROM OUR CEO
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all in more ways than we realize. Medical staff and emergency services have worked diligently to keep us healthy and safe through the duration of the pandemic. Law enforcement officers were faced with slightly different challenges than medical personnel. Law enforcement especially played a key role in pandemic management from enforcing lockdowns, policing mask mandates, and encouraging social distancing. Officers are expected to manage all these responsibilities while always dealing with any personal challenges. The policing of COVID-19 protocols has put a strain on many public safety employees, leading to serious burnout, stress, anxiety, and even depression.
For nearly 18 months, the US has worked to contain COVID-19. Police officers have been instrumental in enforcing CDC regulations as well as local laws. Officers were responsible for taking on these new challenges, in addition to their normal duties. This workload may cause some law enforcement to experience burnout. Burnout is the state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. Officers may feel as if every day is a bad day, like all their efforts are useless, and most importantly like they are no longer making a difference. Stress and burnout are common but should be still taken seriously. The pressure of burnout may cause more serious symptoms that could lead to other serious conditions.
Officers then faced other significant struggles while off-duty. Officers must deal with the pandemic on a personal level and may have experienced complications or loss due to COVID-19. Because of the high expectations of law enforcement, they may not manage their emotions or grief effectively. Dealing with the constant challenges and loss on duty and off duty can take a negative toll on a person’s mental health. These employees must recognize when they need help and ask for help.
The symptoms of burnout and poor mental health directly impact how an officer carries out their job functions. Department leadership may consider wellness appointments, counseling, or coaching sessions depending on individual needs to help team members manage their mental health. The pandemic has heightened the stress of all public safety employees and departments may want to consider speaking with a professional more often than normal.
To read the full study about the effect of the pandemic on police officers, click here.
Elizabeth Morris, M.A.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Phone: 336-761-0764 ext. 1011
Our condolences for the loss of two of our NC Sheriffs: Jones County Sheriff, Danny Ray Heath, and Richmond County Sheriff, James E. Clemmons, Jr. We have planted a tree in a US National Forest in their honor through www.alivingtribute.org. We are grateful for their service to both their communities and North Carolina. Our thoughts are with the Jones County Sherriff’s Office and Richmond County Sheriff’s Office through this difficult time.
House Bill 436
This month, House Bill 436 and Senate Bill 300 moved simultaneously through their respective chambers. House Bill 436, Support Law Enforcement Mental Health, passed out of the Senate Health Care and Senate Judiciary Committees and was referred to Senate Rules. This will be its last stop before a Senate floor vote.
Senate Bill 300, Criminal Justice Reform, passed out of the House and was sent back to the Senate for a concurrence vote. If the Senate votes to “not concur”, the bill will be sent to a Conference Committee where House and Senate members will sort out their differences. The House and Senate both agree on the language requiring in-person or face-to-face psychological evaluations.
Once the Senate and the House reach an agreement, Senate Bill 300 will be sent to the Governor. Representative Kristin Baker (R-Cabarrus) and Senator Danny Britt (R-Robeson) continue to work diligently on this legislation to ensure that it crosses the finish line.
How Do You Promote Wellness?
At FMRT we’re always looking for ideas and resources about mental and physical wellbeing to share with our client-employers and their employees. Please complete this brief survey to help us better serve you!
Update on FMRT Recommendations
Effective this month, FMRT Client SupportTeam members will email verbal recommendations within one business day. We hope you understand this decision ensures that our psychologists have ample time to determine the psychological suitability of your candidates. The turnaround time for reports will remain the same – within 5-7 business days of the evaluation.
FMRT is currently looking for a new office in Charlotte. This new office will have more room to perform evaluations and a larger conference room for training sessions. We’re excited about this new opportunity and will keep you updated as we go through this process!
New Client Employers
We want to welcome our newest North Carolina clients: NC Metropolitan Special Police, Livingstone College, and Vance County Sherriff’s Office. Thank you also to Greenville PD in South Carolina for their trust and confidence in our professional services. We look forward to learning from each of you and developing a long-standing relationship.
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