President's Column: Resilience matters

NZPA | Sun October 1st, 2017

In late August, I had the pleasure of attending the Police Sport Winter Games, sponsored by the Association, in Rotorua. It was a great occasion with more 600 competitors taking part in a variety of sports.

Congratulations to Police Sport and a big thanks to the Rotorua District Council for its generous support. The games highlighted how important healthy lifestyles are for our members.

This month, your Association representatives and national office staff will attend the annual conference in Wellington. The theme is “Resilience Matters”. Resilience is not about telling people to harden up and get on with the job; it is about adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy and significant sources of stress.

The conference will hear from respected speakers on this topic, and other health-related messages, as we explore how to better support the mental and physical wellbeing of members.

The keynote speaker will be Tom Mulholland, a well-known emergency and expedition doctor, author, TV and radio host and founder of the Healthy Thinking Institute. Dr Tom, as he is known, truly walks the talk, combining family, a full-on career and many outdoor activities. He is going to guide us through how we can live to 100 while staying out of the emergency department.

In this month’s Police News, Police employee Nikki Geeson talks about the correlation between overwork, not enough staff and the chronic condition of burnout in high-risk occupations such as policing. Her academic work underscores the story of veteran police officer Dave Harvey, also in this issue, who tells Police News that thanks to the Police trauma policy he was able to take time out to recover from post-traumatic stress and stay in policing, rather than quitting years before he was ready.

At the conference, and in conjunction with Police, we will be launching a mental health wellbeing app that provides practical tools for dealing with stress.

This brings me back to the importance of sport in promoting personal wellbeing, along with the camaraderie and fun of competition.

In recognition of that, the Association is pleased to announce a doubling of its sponsorship to Police Sport, which will now exceed $100,000, continuing the Association’s commitment to its vision: to be the trusted guardian of the police family.

We look forward to working even closer with Police Sport to promote this important aspect of our members’ health, and we will share with you the knowledge we gain from this year’s conference.

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