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The Miami-Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police Inaugurates Its Peer-to-Peer
Support Program in Partnership with the Community-Police Relations Foundation and the
Boulder Crest Foundation to Support Mental Health Care Treatment for Law Enforcement and First Responders

September 28, 2023

The Miami-Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police Inaugurates Its Peer-to-Peer
Support Program in Partnership with the Community-Police Relations Foundation and the
Boulder Crest Foundation to Support Mental Health Care Treatment for Law Enforcement and First Responders

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY – September 28, 2023 – The Miami-Dade County Association of
Chiefs of Police announced the launch of the Regional First Responder Peer Support Team
Program in partnership with the Community-Police Relations Foundation (CPR Foundation) and
the Boulder Crest Foundation. This program provides peer-to-peer support opportunities and
works to support Officers and their families who experience mental health events, empower them
to engage with other police officers, and advocate for the importance of resources that enhance
their health and safety. The program launches on October 2nd with 15 sworn officers trained to
serve as Peer Support Team members.

The CPR Foundation's continues its commitment to implement access to mental health programs
among law enforcement by expanding the current collaboration with the Boulder Crest
Foundation to enhance the "Struggle Well" Training Program for law enforcement and first
responders in South Florida – a proven approach to mental health that helps participants create a
personal growth plan and also tailors the program to suit growth opportunities for every officer's
needs.

In the last three years, the "Struggle Well" Training Program has reached over 6,000 officers and
first responders across 37 departments in Miami-Dade County, and the feedback has been
overwhelmingly positive. The "Struggle Well" Training program offers two or five-day sessions
that help participants create a personal growth plan. The goal is to transform struggle into
strength, enabling officers and first responders to serve themselves, their families, work, and
their community in the best emotional state possible. Law enforcement faces pressures most of
us are blissfully unaware of. Officers and their families deal with higher rates of depression,
burnout, PTSD, anxiety, and suicidal ideation than most. Traditional mental health treatments
often fall short, considering the unique, intense experiences these individuals face daily. Add the
stigma often associated with seeking help, and you have a real problem. The CPR Foundation’s
partnership with Boulder Crest Foundation and the Miami Dade County Association of Chiefs of
Police provides a new approach, tailoring the mental health program to suit an officer's needs.
Mental health resources are one of many initiatives of the CPR Foundation, fostering safe and
prosperous communities throughout the nation. Through various programs, the Foundation aims
to strengthen the bonds between law enforcement and residents, address neighborhood problems,
reduce crime, and improve the future of public safety.

"Getting the right mental health support has proven to drastically improve a police officer's life,
benefitting not just them, but their relationships and the communities they serve," said Al

Eskanazy, Chairman and CEO of CPR Foundation. "We are honored to play a vital role in caring
for the health of police officers and, therefore, public safety."

The Regional First Responder Peer Support Team Program provides more than a conversation.
Instead, it offers a safe outlet for police officers to engage in shared experiences among other law
enforcement personnel - promoting the idea that officers are never alone and easing the residual
effect of years on the force in service to the community. It reinforces mental health education
and the well-being of officers with strategies to address concerns and enhanced self-confidence
for better policing. Mental health affects every part of an officer's life, and this peer-to-peer
support program positively impacts their relationship with families, friends, and residents.
Additionally, it introduces a new standard of police reform by helping Officers to employ better
practices to respond rather than react.

Research shows a strong negative correlation between mental health programs and suicide rates
among law enforcement, many of which are not easily accessible by smaller departments. Some
studies have shown that an estimated 30% of first responders develop behavioral health
conditions, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Studies also indicate that
police officers are eight times more likely to die from suicide than homicide and three times
more likely to die from suicide than from accidental causes.

"This Program, an innovative tool developed as part of the Association's First Responder Mental
Wellness Initiative under Director Rene Landa, is another step forward in destigmatizing the
process of asking for help. Our law enforcement personnel serve dutifully and often carry the
burden of that service at the peril of their personal lives, relationships, and careers. The Peer
Support Program offers a trustworthy and confidential opportunity to lighten that burden in a
safe environment with individuals who know and have experienced the difficulties of our noble
profession. It is a positive step in letting our Officers know that it's OK not to be OK and
encouraging them to seek assistance." Deputy Chief Samuel Bejar, President of the Miami-Dade
County Association of Chiefs of Police.

"Mental health support will improve an officer's overall quality of life and fitness for service.
Mental health struggles impact all areas of a person's life, including their relationships. By
seeking support, law enforcement officers will improve their mental well-being, positively
impacting all areas of their lives and the individuals and communities they serve," said Steadman
Stahl, President of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association.

In honor of Suicide Awareness Month, this program brings awareness to decreasing suicide rates
among law enforcement and joins nationwide efforts to destigmatize mental health issues for
officers who experience burnout, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other
behavioral health conditions.

About Miami-Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police (MDCACP) Founded in 1937, the MDCACP is a non-profit that serves law enforcement and the communities we protect through its Mission to provide fair, thorough, and efficient policing throughout Miami-Dade County by coordination of the operations and services of all law enforcement agencies that serve the people of our diverse communities, and continuously fostering its Vision to Promote the administration and professionalization of law enforcement service, Elevate the standards of police institutions and officers, and Deliver excellent public safety services, with
fairness, integrity and respect to the public that we serve. To learn more, please visit us at:
mdcacp.com

About South Florida South Florida Police Benevolent Association The South Florida Police Benevolent Association (SFLPBA) is an aggressive, pro-active union of professionals and past law enforcement officers working to protect the rights of policemen and women and community officials throughout South Florida. Since incorporating in December 1963, it has continued to actively fight for, and attain, the rights of all members.

About Community-Police Relations Foundation Community-Police Relations Foundation was created in January 2018 to improve relationships within communities by facilitating positive interactions with uniformed police officers. The goal is to reassure our communities that law enforcement officers are striving to keep our communities safe. CPR Foundation operates at the community level from Miami to New York,
New Jersey, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In the last five years, the Foundation has supported
numerous initiatives to create a unified and harmonious relationship between the communities
served and law enforcement. Initiatives include food for individuals and families in
disadvantaged neighborhoods, mentorship for school-age youth, police officers' participation in
youth sports, awarding scholarships for graduating students, mental health training for law
enforcement officers and spouses, supporting the fight against human trafficking and child abuse,
preventing animal cruelty, and funding holiday festivities. To learn more about the CPR
Foundation, visit http://www.cprfcharity.org and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and
LinkedIn @cprfcharity.

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