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Gordon Graham on First Responder Wellness Week 2024: Together, we can change the story

Take steps to prioritize your wellness so you can better serve your community, your colleagues and your family

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Gordon Graham here. I’d like to take a few minutes to share some thoughts about wellness. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve been talking for many years now about the importance of wellness for first responders. It’s far from a secret that this job takes its toll physically and mentally.

First responders are at elevated risk for many things- not the least of which includes cardiac disease, diabetes, anxiety, depression, PTSD and suicidal ideation. While we’ve seen significant improvements in how we think and talk about wellness since my days as a motorcycle cop, we know without a doubt there’s still a lot of work to be done. Fortunately, agencies around this country are establishing wellness programs, working to smash the stigma around mental health and encouraging physical fitness with better access to resources and support. So let’s consider what you can do to support wellness.

Are you taking advantage of the resources your agency provides? Are you encouraging your fellow first responders to do the same? How about remembering the basics? Simply taking care of yourself so you can more effectively care for others.

Wellness truly does start with you. That’s why I’m honored and thrilled to welcome you to Lexipol’s second annual First Responder Wellness Week, March 25 through March 29. During this week, we want to get you involved. We’ve prepared a host of resources that support your physical fitness, nutrition, mental health and relationships.

When you get involved in First Responder Wellness Week, I guarantee you’ll be inspired to take better care of yourself and your brothers and sisters in public safety. Folks, we’ve got to be committed to making a change for the better. Keep your eyes open to how the job may be affecting you and those around you. Take steps to prioritize your wellness so you can better serve your community, your colleagues and your family.

Together, we can change the story. Please, join in the conversation about wellness this week and throughout the year. Click here to learn more. I hope to see you there.

Gordon Graham, signing off.

Get more resources to share with your team at the First Responder Wellness Week resource center.

Gordon Graham has been actively involved in law enforcement since 1973. He spent nearly 10 years as a very active motorcycle officer while also attending Cal State Long Beach to achieve his teaching credential, USC to do his graduate work in Safety and Systems Management with an emphasis on Risk Management, and Western State University to obtain his law degree. In 1982 he was promoted to sergeant and also admitted to the California State Bar and immediately opened his law offices in Los Angeles.