Tackling Police Stress with The Real You Wellness Program
November 19, 2011
The Ottawa Police Service hopes to cut absenteeism and save on long-term health-related costs with the year-long Real You Wellness Program
OUR HISTORY WITH THE OTTAWA POLICE
In 2006, Dr. Neda Amani was approached by the Chief of Ottawa Police Service (OPS) to create innovative wellness programming for members of the OPS through the Real You Program. In the years since, we have worked with over 800 OPS officers and civilians to deliver an impactful, comprehensive wellness program, while addressing the unique needs and challenges of first responders.
The Real You Program has paved the way for the Ottawa Police Service to be nationally and internationally recognized as a leader and visionary in providing preventive and comprehensive wellness programming to its members. From 2013 to 2015, the OPS conducted an independent, external evaluation of the impact the Real You Program had in its work with the OPS between 2011 and 2014. Findings showed that the Program helped the OPS reduce absenteeism, sick days, and workplace conflict. Our proactive approach to healthcare saves lives and money!
Full results of the external evaluation:
The Real You values life-long relationships. Our work with the Ottawa Police Service helps their members be stronger, healthier, and happier individuals. Our team has developed an expertise and knowledge in addressing the unique challenges of all first responders, as well as a genuine appreciation for the challenges our first responders face daily.
We are committed to bringing our approach to healthcare to as many first responders as possible because they have committed their lives to caring for us and our communities.
Are you an OPS member ready to start the Real You journey? Please call or email the centre for more information:
CBC Radio All in a Day
An interview with Dr. Neda Amani and Constable Joe Brownrigg of the Ottawa Police
"I felt like I was a runaway train on the wrong track."
Describing his situation before starting the Real You Program:
Joe: "I got on the job when I was 22 years old. I grew up as a police officer. I learnt how to be an adult and a police officer at the same time. As a result of my profession – I call it the slow burn – I was always dealing with conflict, be it domestic everyday, tragic circumstances, accidents that you see - things like that. I can now say this: I didn’t know how to deal with it and it just kept building up and building up and building up. I forgot how to be positive. I started to identify with being a cynical negative person. With that came some pretty significant health concerns that affected my body, mind and spirit. I felt like I was a runaway train on the wrong track."
Speaking of the shifts that happened during the program:
Joe: "The big one for me was to stop drinking alcohol. That was the big one for me…But what I identified as the most important part was my world view and having a positive outlook on everything you see and trying not to fill yourself with negativity all the time - not identifying with being a cynic. Being conscious of that when you find yourself doing that. And saying: “okay I’m conscious that I’m being negative at this point; I’m going to stop; I’m actually going to turn around. I’m going to be positive.” Being mindful of your scenario and how you are thinking about it. There’s no other way to do it....
If an officer doesn’t accept the coaching and understand that this is an important way of looking at things then its going to be a runaway train…. but you have to be pointed to it, practice it, and learn how to do it. That’s why I’m here today and talking about it."