LAND O'LAKES (FOX 13) - Five first responders in the Bay Area have committed suicide in recent months, prompting agencies to take a deeper look at the mental health of their men and women in uniform.
One is too many, but a growing list in a short period of time is forcing a very serious conversation about the stress that comes with the job. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is taking action by conditioning its employees in resiliency training.
“We are investing in humans,” said Sanfa Johnson, director of training for the Pasco Sheriff’s Office.
The department opened its new Human Performance Center six weeks ago.
Chris Jacquard runs the performance center. He says 'healthy body, healthy mind' doesn't quite cut it, so he is focused on physical training as well as mental health.
“Hopefully it will positively impact some of the uglier aspects associated with being a law enforcement officer,” Jacquard said.
The training will help the men and women of the department process what they see in the field. The goal is overall life improvement.
Jacquard says the training is a hybrid of sports and military, but it’s tailored to a law enforcement environment.
The program is the first of its kind in the country. This is the sixth week for Pasco’s Human Performance Center.