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May 2022 Message from FLEOA Office of Mental

From the FLEOA 

Office of Mental Health and Peer Support Services

 

 

 

Grief and Loss re-visited. Unexpected loss will have a profound impact. Sometimes reading a report or seeing something on a television show or movie can trigger the loss and bring it back in full view as if it just happened. The feeling of grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. You may experience all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to disbelief, guilt, and profound sadness. The pain of grief can also disrupt your physical health, making it difficult to sleep, eat, or even think straight. These are normal reactions to loss—and the more significant the loss, the more intense your grief will be.

This e-blast intends to give you some immediate resources to reach in, find your strength, so you can reach out. It really is ok not to be ok right now. We are here for you.

 Even subtle losses in life can trigger a sense of grief. For example, you might grieve after moving away from home, graduating from college, or changing jobs.

Whatever your loss, it’s personal to you, so don’t feel ashamed about how you feel, or believe that it’s somehow only appropriate to grieve for certain things. If the person, animal, relationship, or situation was significant to you, it’s normal to grieve the loss you’re experiencing. Whatever the cause of your grief, though, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can ease your sadness and help you come to terms with your loss, find new meaning, and eventually move on with your life.


The grieving process

Grieving is a highly individual experience; there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and how significant the loss was to you.


Inevitably, the grieving process takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried—and there is no "normal” timetable for grieving. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.


Taking care of yourself as you grieve

When you’re grieving, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself. The stress of a major loss can quickly deplete your energy and emotional reserves. Looking after your physical and emotional needs will help you get through this difficult time.


Face your feelings

You can try to suppress your grief, but you can’t avoid it forever. To heal, you must acknowledge the pain. Trying to avoid feelings of sadness and loss only prolongs the grieving process.


Express your feelings 

Even if you’re not able to talk about your loss with others, it can help to write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal or sketch book.


Try to maintain your interests 

There’s comfort in routine and getting back to the activities that bring you joy and connect you closer to others can help you come to terms with your loss and aid the grieving process.


Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel

Your grief is your own, and no one else can tell you when it’s time to "move on” or "get over it.” It’s also okay to laugh, to find moments of joy, and to let go when you’re ready.


Look after your physical health

The mind and body are connected. When you feel healthy physically, you’ll be better able to cope emotionally.

 

Plan for grief "triggers”

Anniversaries, holidays, and important milestones can reawaken painful memories and feelings. Be prepared for an emotional wallop and know that it’s completely normal. You can plan by making sure that you’re not alone.

 

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Remember, 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. Lothrop 
Tel: (845) 358-6421 
 
National Jewish Chaplain
Rabbi Niles Goldstein
Cell phone: (917) 670-8214 
 
National Catholic Chaplain
Father Joseph D'Angelo
Tel: (516) 672-3944

Additionally, the Treatment Placement Specialist/Acadia Health are available for you and your family. Bill Mazur and Joe Collins, 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. 

 

The following resources are also here for you - Peer Support/No shame-No Judgement:

  • Text "HOME” or "BLUE” to 741741 to connect with a counselor

  • Call COPLINE 1-800-267-5463 (1-800-COPLINE) Calls will be answered by a Retired Active Peer Listener - All calls are strictly 100% CONFIDENTIAL.

  • Call blue line support 855-964-2583

  • Call the National Suicide hotline 800-273-TALK (8255)

  • The National Disaster Distress Helpline is available to anyone experiencing emotional distress related to COVID-19 - call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to speak to a caring counselor.


I can be reached at jkanokogi@fleoa.org.
 
Please use these resources, sometimes a mere connection will pull you out of a funk.

 

Fraternally,

 
Dr. Jean Kanokogi, PhD
Director of Mental Health & Peer Support Services
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association