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Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Maximize Your Chances to Win!

December 31st, 2009

This is an email sent to me by a former correctional officer, who gave me permission to share it with others. It is very sobering as it raises the issue of responsibility for our own well-being. Read it and remember that you do have choices. If you don’t already, start taking care of your physical, psychological and spiritual needs actively and consistently. Nobody else can do it for you.

The gate slams behind you as you enter the prison. You take a deep breath as you prepare for the day ahead. Let the games begin!

Each day becomes a day of survival spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally. The money is good. The job provides “security”(boy, isn’t that a play on words!).

But for the money and security there is a heavy price to pay for many. Their world becomes no different than that of the prisoners—hopeless, worrisome, painful, fearful. Many officers say “I do my eight and skate,” but is that statement really true?

Read more…

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Yet Another Staff Suicide

November 2nd, 2009

It hurts my soul that another exemplary correctional worker killed himself yesterday. His suicide blind-sighted & knocked the wind out of all who knew him.  It hurts that he was all alone in his pain to the end,  tormented by what proved for him to be unbearable heartache & hopelessness, yet he didn’t feel safe to confide in any of his corrections “comrades in arms.”

What do you think drove him to pretend everything was manageable & that he was OK? Read more…

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“Here’s My Rant…”

June 24th, 2009

Thanks to Desert Waters’ 24/7 hotline, the Corrections Ventline (phone 866-YOU-VENT and email, we get priceless communications from the trenches, like the one shared below (reprinted with permission). Even if we do not agree with everything this CO has to say, it will challenge us to stop and think. What is it like to work the front lines year in and year out? How does it shape the worker? How can the corrections system invest in COs to keep them functioning professionally and to help them maintain healthy lives on the outside? May we always remember that an  ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Here is my rant, my vent, my rambling, my words…
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Corrections Fatigue ,

Behind the Mask

May 31st, 2009

Desert Waters Correctional Outreach exists because our experiences with corrections employees have led us to believe that, especially for staff with considerable offender contact, psycho-spiritual struggles are not a rarity.

Corrections staff operate in an environment of chronic stress, continual alertness, and the ever-present possibility of violence. Staff is exposed to violence in a multitude of ways, the impact of which adds up over time. They read about crimes in offender files, they view videos of assaults or riots for training purposes, they hear or read about assaults on the news, they witness such assaults firsthand, or they themselves become victims of violence. Gradually, this exposure, coupled with the high stress and need for continual watchfulness, breeds symptoms of psychological disturbance such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and secondary traumatic stress. As one of you said to me, “What I come across at work wounds my soul.” Read more…

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Undoing the Stress Response

April 10th, 2009

by Caterina Spinaris Tudor, Ph.D.

Imagine being ambushed by a mountain lion while hiking through the Colorado Rockies. As soon as the big cat knocks you to the ground, you automatically go into fighting mode. Your heart rate and blood pressure shoot up, sending extra blood to your limbs so you can have the strength to fight. Glycogen in your liver and muscles becomes converted to glucose to give you extra energy. Digestion stops. Cholesterol is released in your bloodstream to be an additional source of energy. Blood clotting factors kick into action, so you won’t bleed to death. Endorphins flood your brain to enable you to ignore the pain of bites and broken bones, so you can continue to fight. The adrenaline that floods your system increases your aggression, helping you maintain your fierce determination to survive. This simplified description of physiological changes that occur during a life-threatening attack constitutes “the stress response.”

Read more…

Smart Living , ,