Student Spotlight: Anjali Phukan
A YogaFit student, Anjali Phukan, is working on developing stress management solutions for public safety officers (police, fire fighters, EMS, military, correctional officers), which in turn leads to better stress management for all.
Stress Management for public safety professionals is crucial, as they are needed to take care of emergency and difficult situations in society, with all its daily insanity. The emotional turmoil that happens in these difficult jobs has a great impact on the general welfare of all - from constituents and tourists to those dedicated to these needed professionals. Yet, we often ignore or are not made aware of the struggles and the need for solutions. Last year, suicide was the number one killer of men and women in Law Enforcement in the USA – yes even more deadly than gun fire from battling criminals while on duty.
- Female correctional officers have higher rates of suicide than any other profession for women
- Despite all the military men and women awareness, about 20 veterans still commit suicide daily.
- Fire fighters and paramedics also are at risk, as the job can be very physically and emotionally exhaustive, as they too see death and destruction on a daily basis.
- For every professional who dies of suicide, many in the same department often have untreated PTSD - which is still active as they are active duty personnel.
Most agencies do not offer, and often bar an officer officially - or unofficially - from attending lifesaving spiritual groups, recovery fellowships or other non-traditional stress management programs. Yet, having first hand recovery experiences could save officers and positively impact the struggling addict citizen they encounter on the job.
If one had substance abuse issues or not before the job, these professions are tough on the body and soul, and any human in these jobs needs healthy spiritual outlets to deal with the stresses that happen. Some stress inducers include 24-hour shifts, mandatory overtime, and injuries on the job that require addicting pain pills. Active duty solutions could save current officer lives, reduce veteran suicides, reduce liability cases that result from over stressed officers acting incorrectly, and provide a positive outlook in the recruitment of much needed future officers.
Anjali started a volunteer non-partisan group called Boots of Recovery, dedicated to
- Raising awareness for recovery acceptance for public safety members
- Provide solutions for family, friends, and service members
- Honor those who died of suicide or addiction.
If you know of resources that she could add to her site (see https://www.bootsofrecovery.com/resources), or want to help steer or promote the cause, please reach out on the “help” tab or at firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook (@bootsofrecovery) to let her know, so that this greatly needed cause can keep getting bigger.