Mental Health Training Series Launched by New York Police Counselor

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Mental Health Training Series Launched by New York Police Counselor

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(Manahawkin, NJ) – Mental health is an issue that isn’t freely discussed among law enforcement professionals. Yet, there’s little question that its participants are at a much higher risk than most for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and other serious problems. It’s a fact with which New Jersey native and Port Authority Police Counselor Peter Killeen, Ed.D, is all too familiar.

That’s why he has created “Operation Longevity,” a training series that empowers law enforcement professionals with the tools to integrate mindfulness, resilience and meditation into their lives.

“Mental health is a real concern among our first responders, yet there’s a fear of stigma within the profession that is a significant problem and that troubles me,” explains Killeen. “Law enforcement professionals must be able to take responsibility to address traumatic situations and not feel afraid that they’ll lose their job because they feel depressed or stressed afterward. They must be assured that they can get help without fear of stigma or reprisal. Stigma is the main contributor to the high suicide rate within the law enforcement profession, and individuals must be free to identify with and help their colleagues who may be experiencing these problems.”

The “Operation Longevity” training program consists of an easy-to-read book and participatory journal.  Real-life stories, provided by law enforcement professionals who have worked with Killeen on these techniques, help to engage the reader and demonstrate how this approach can be beneficial.

(Manahawkin, NJ) – Mental health is an issue that isn’t freely discussed among law enforcement professionals. Yet, there’s little question that its participants are at a much higher risk than most for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and other serious problems. It’s a fact with which New Jersey native and Port Authority Police Counselor Peter Killeen, Ed.D, is all too familiar.

That’s why he has created “Operation Longevity,” a training series that empowers law enforcement professionals with the tools to integrate mindfulness, resilience and meditation into their lives.

“Mental health is a real concern among our first responders, yet there’s a fear of stigma within the profession that is a significant problem and that troubles me,” explains Killeen. “Law enforcement professionals must be able to take responsibility to address traumatic situations and not feel afraid that they’ll lose their job because they feel depressed or stressed afterward. They must be assured that they can get help without fear of stigma or reprisal. Stigma is the main contributor to the high suicide rate within the law enforcement profession, and individuals must be free to identify with and help their colleagues who may be experiencing these problems.”

The “Operation Longevity” training program consists of an easy-to-read book and participatory journal.  Real-life stories, provided by law enforcement professionals who have worked with Killeen on these techniques, help to engage the reader and demonstrate how this approach can be beneficial.

“I am all too familiar with the struggles that many of these law enforcement officers are experiencing and have used these techniques to overcome my own work-related mental health challenges,” Killeen explains. “My passion for this profession and my desire to help my colleagues is what inspired me to create this training. But the process begins with the individual – they must have a desire to change and to refocus their life.”

(Manahawkin, NJ) – Mental health is an issue that isn’t freely discussed among law enforcement professionals. Yet, there’s little question that its participants are at a much higher risk than most for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and other serious problems. It’s a fact with which New Jersey native and Port Authority Police Counselor Peter Killeen, Ed.D, is all too familiar.

That’s why he has created “Operation Longevity,” a training series that empowers law enforcement professionals with the tools to integrate mindfulness, resilience and meditation into their lives.

“Mental health is a real concern among our first responders, yet there’s a fear of stigma within the profession that is a significant problem and that troubles me,” explains Killeen. “Law enforcement professionals must be able to take responsibility to address traumatic situations and not feel afraid that they’ll lose their job because they feel depressed or stressed afterward. They must be assured that they can get help without fear of stigma or reprisal. Stigma is the main contributor to the high suicide rate within the law enforcement profession, and individuals must be free to identify with and help their colleagues who may be experiencing these problems.”

The “Operation Longevity” training program consists of an easy-to-read book and participatory journal. Real-life stories, provided by law enforcement professionals who have worked with Killeen on these techniques, help to engage the reader and demonstrate how this approach can be beneficial.

“I am all too familiar with the struggles that many of these law enforcement officers are experiencing and have used these techniques to overcome my own work-related mental health challenges,” Killeen explains. “My passion for this profession and my desire to help my colleagues is what inspired me to create this training. But the process begins with the individual – they must have a desire to change and to refocus their life.”

As a recent police academy graduate, Killeen was among the first officers to respond to the 1975 bombing at La Guardia Airport that killed 11 people and injured 74. The events of that day left an indelible mark on Killeen. Only later, after he had left the police force to pursue a career as a counselor, did he realize that he had PTSD. Killeen would experience those same tell-tale symptoms again several years later, following the September 11, 2001 attack on the Twin Towers where he served on the ground counseling first responders.

“After 9-11 my world changed in a radical way,” he shares. “Like so many who were at Ground Zero, my physical and mental health suffered. While my training helped me navigate those challenges, many of my colleagues didn’t have the skills to cope with what they had experienced. I made it my mission to serve these men, women and their families in whatever way possible to see them through. ‘Operation Longevity’ is the next step in that journey.”

For more information about the “Operation Longevity” training program, or to learn more about Peter Killeen, please visit operationlongevity.org.

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