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February 2022 Message from FLEOA Office of Mental

From the FLEOA

Office of Mental Health and Peer Support Services


Achieving Post-Traumatic Growth

 

"In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning." —Viktor Frankl - Man’s Search for Meaning

 

Although some think resilience and post traumatic growth (PTG) are synonymous, they are not. Resilience is the process of adapting in the face of adversity, whereas post-traumatic growth refers to positive changes experienced as a result of the adversity.

 

Post-traumatic growth involves life-changing psychological shifts in thinking and relating to the world and the self, that contribute to a personal process of change, that is deeply meaningful.

 

Trauma shakes up our world and forces us to take another look at our cherished goals and dreams.Generally, we tend to rely on a particular set of beliefs and assumptions about the world, our world, then a traumatic event can shatter that worldview as we are shaken to our core and are forced to rebuild ourselves and our worlds.

 

After we are shaken to the core, it’s natural to stew over the event, constantly thinking about what happened, replaying the thoughts and feelings over and over. This rumination is a sign that you are working to make sense of what happened and are actively tearing down old belief systems and creating new structures of meaning and identity.It’s ok to be in this space - don’t get stuck here.Rebuilding and restructuring is key to your mental health and PTG.

 

Post traumatic growth tends to occur in five general areas. Try to embrace each as you develop your PTG:

 

  1. Opportunities: People who must face major life crises develop a sense that new opportunities have emerged from the struggle, opening up possibilities that were not present before.
  2. Relationships: People experience closer relationships with some specific people, and they can also experience an increased sense of connection to others who suffer.
  3. Strength: Some experience an increased sense of one’s own strength.
  4. Appreciation: People find they have a greater appreciation for life in general.
  5. Spirituality: Some individuals experience a deepening of their spiritual lives, however, this deepening can also involve a significant change in one’s belief system.

 

I know times can be difficult right now, and it may seem so far away before you can become whole again. My hope is that you never face a major loss or crisis, but sadly, most eventually do. Post traumatic growth can offer you some hope that you will likely come out stronger, more creative, and with a deeper sense of meaning.

 

Remember, Kintsugi, is a centuries-old Japanese art of fixing cracked pottery. Rather than hide the cracks,the technique involves rejoining the broken pieces with lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. When put back together, the whole piece of pottery looks beautiful as ever, even while owning its broken history. That’s you!

——-

 

You are not alone!

 

Feel free to reach out to whichever FLEOA Chaplain you feel comfortable with.They are here for you.

 

National Protestant Chaplain

Rev. David S. LothropTel: (212) 924-0869 Tel:(845) 358-6421Email:chap.dave48@gmail.com

 

National Jewish Chaplain

Rabbi Niles Goldstein.Cell phone:(917) 670-8214Email:nilesgoldstein@hotmail.com

 

National Catholic Chaplain

Father Joseph D'Angelo.Tel:(516) 672-3944.

Email:skypylot1@aol.com

 

Additionally, theTreatment Placement Specialist/AcadiaHealthareavailable for you and your family.Bill Mazur (William.mazur@Acadiahealthcare.com/609-515-4111) and Joe Collins (Joe.Collins@acadiahealthcare.com/920-973-7310), both retired LEO’s, will talk/text/email with you and get you connected to a provider who is vetted and who is familiar with the LEO culture. I can be reached atJkanokogi@fleoa.org.

 

The following resources are also here for you - peer support/No shame-No judgement:1-800-267-5463(1-800-COPLINE).Calls will be answered by aRetired Active Peer Listener - All calls are strictly100% CONFIDENTIAL.Additionally, you can call the National Suicide hotline800-273-TALK(8255).

  

Fraternally,

 

Dr. Jean Kanokogi, PhD

Director of Mental Health & Peer Support Services

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

202-695-4345cell

jkanokogi@fleoa.org

www.fleoa.org