Assess Your Agency's Current Wellness Program

A robust responder wellness program serves to improve the health and productivity of employees.  It can also help to lower health care costs, reduce absenteeism, reduce workers’ compensation and disability-related costs, reduce injuries, and improve overall morale and loyalty within the agency.

A wellness program assessment with Code-4 Counseling typically includes the following:

  1. A review of materials (brochures, newsletters, policies/procedures) as they related to peer support and wellness.
    • For example, an item that is often missed with agencies is whether there is a specific policy regarding self-reporting substance use and what that would look like in terms of getting support/treatment.  Most agencies encourage their folks to talk with peer support if there is a concern regarding alcohol use but in order for folks to self-report, they need to be confident that doing so would not risk their job…if your folks looked to policy to see what it says about self-reporting a problem with alcohol, what would it say?
  1. Review of training curriculum:
    • Peer Support Training
      • How are critical incidents handled and what role does peer support have?
      • What role does peer support have in providing IA, light duty, injury, and/or day to day support to folks?
    • In-Service Wellness Training
      • Stress Injury
      • Suicide Prevention
    • Family Academy Training
  1. Standardized interviews help to give us a sense of the overall opinion of the department as it relates to the peer support team (is the team proactive, trusted, utilized, etc.), what is currently being offered in terms of wellness, and what folks would like to see added (more family support services is usually a big one).  In-person interview stakeholders of the program including:
    • wellness unit staff members
    • mental health clinicians that support your agency,
    • sworn peer support officers,
    • civilian peer supporters,
    • department chaplains,
    • selected command personnel,
    • selected members of the department.
  1. Finally, identified agency key stakeholders are provided both a written report and in-person feedback session on the current status of the agency wellness program. Additional next steps are also discussed for addressing any identified program gaps such as:
    • providing additional training to leadership regarding buy-in for wellness programming
    • offering “Counseling Cops” training to the mental health clinicians that support your folks to increase their culturally competency
    • facilitating in-service training or advanced peer support training as needed, etc.

All wellness program assessments are conducted with Dr. Sara Metz and Retired Police Chief Nick Metz.