Institute for Justice Research and Development Leads St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Peer-to-Peer Training
The Florida State University Institute for Justice Research and Development (FSU IJRD) and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office (SJSO) partnered together recently to deliver twenty-four sheriff’s office personnel and twenty-five additional participants, peer-to-peer support training. The training addresses on-the-job, daily stress that law enforcement face and teaches them actionable steps to provide mental health and well-being support to their peers.
Law enforcement officers are exposed to violence and suffering every day, which can cause emotional stress and impact the brain and body, resulting in post-traumatic stress. The training, conducted by FSU IJRD, aims to give law enforcement officers a deeper understanding of how the mind and body react to on-the-job stress and learn practical steps they can use to support others who are suffering.
“We are grateful to FSU IJRD for developing this one-of-a-kind training that is critically important to our law enforcement personnel who are constantly exposed to violence and suffering, which, in turn, manifests as post-traumatic stress,” said Robert A. Hardwick, sheriff of St. Johns County. “This program will ensure they have the skill set necessary to identify this stress and take action to handle it not only in themselves but with their peers.”
The two-day training took place at St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office on April 26 through April 27, 2021. Training participants gained a firm foundation to provide healthy peer support to colleagues in need and suggest action if someone needs further mental well-being support.
“We developed this program because we know the trauma caused by the on-the-job stresses law enforcement face all the time - from seeing the most painful and terrifying events in citizens’ lives to being confronted with dangerous, imperiling circumstances,” said Carrie Pettus, founder and executive director of FSU IJRD. “We believe equipping them with the training we have developed through in-depth research and field testing, will ready them to better identify and manage this stress, leading to more effective job performance.”
Learn more about the peer-to-peer training offered by FSU IJRD here.
Pictured: SJSO personnel participating in a working session during peer-to-peer training.