Want to know why your diet isn’t working…how to survive psychologically as a cop…what clues may signal mental illness in a fellow officer…how to use the right self-talk to improve performance…or answers to a growing list of other health and fitness questions relevant to law enforcement?
Now there’s an app for that, thanks to the creative energy of Force Science instructor Dr. John Azar-Dickens.
A practicing clinical psychologist, college prof, and sworn police officer, in addition to serving as a presenter of the popular two-day seminar on Force Science principles, Azar-Dickens recently launched the free app for smart phones and tablets after more than six months of preparation.
It’s called “Enforce Health” and it’s devoted to practical information on maintaining wellness, presented in short but meaty articles, study reports, and podcasts designed for time-limited officers who want sensible guidance for healthy living.
The idea of creating such an information hub grew from his experience on patrol with the Rome (GA) PD, Azar-Dickens told Force Science News. Because of his background as a psychologist and an avid marathon and ironman runner, “other officers would often pull me to the side and ask questions about fitness, mental health, exercise, and other issues that they didn’t necessarily want to ask in public.
“I realized there wasn’t much available and easily accessible on wellness specifically for cops, outside of a formal counseling relationship. So an app became a way to reach them where they are–in their cars or off duty. When they have a few minutes, they can check their phone and get no-nonsense information in plain language that they can readily apply to their lives in practical ways.”
When “Enforce Health” launched earlier this month, its offerings included topics such as:
- Psychological antidotes to today’s negative storms about the police
- New findings on why dieters fail to meet their goals–and how to meet yours
- How to craft self-talk that maximizes improvement in personal performance
- What meals are healthiest in the fast-food chains on your beat
- The dangers of excessive sitting
- Factors that protect against police suicide
- Risk factors that make you more vulnerable to PTSD
- Seven ways to overcome the dangerous aftermath of a critical incident,
to name just a few.
Among the app’s audio podcasts is an 8-minute interview with Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Institute, in which he explains how physical exercise impacts decision-making and memory and mitigates the unhealthy aspects of police work.
Azar-Dickens’ goal is to update the app at least once or twice daily and to maintain an active, ever-growing archive of posted materials. Although he writes most of the reports and conducts the podcast interviews, as an associate professor of psychology at Rome’s Berry College he plans to use student interns to assist with research.
If you have ideas for future topics or specific questions you’d like answered, Azar-Dickens welcomes contact at: email@example.com. “Enforce Health” can be downloaded from Google Play or the iTunes Store.