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Day 2 - Session 6
Sept. 23, 12:00 - 12:50 pm (EST/USA)
5:00 - 5:55 pm (London)
Sept. 24, 2:00 - 2:55 am (Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane)
Sept. 24, 4:30 - 4:55 am (New Zealand)
Stigma Issues & Ways To Counter Them 


Thomas E. Coghlan, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist, Blue Line Psychological Services, PLLC.; Retired Detective. New York City Police Department (USA)


Effective Coping Mechanisms - How Mindset & Attitude Impact Resiliency and Create Perseverance

​Tremaine Sayles, PsyD, LCSW

Director, Counseling Services Unit, New York City Police Department (USA)

Law enforcement officers work in a very dynamic environment which produces a unique set of stressors.  To ensure that officers are most effective, they have to be physically capable and tactically proficient.  But it is equally as important to have the appropriate mindset.  This includes understanding the need for self-care.  All too often, the focus is on caring for others. And by the time an officer attempts to take care of themselves they may already feel beaten and broken.  However, maintaining positive coping strategies, leaning on others when needed, and developing a positive mindset can assist police personnel to persevere in any situation.   

 I will share both positive and negative coping mechanisms and how developing an overall positive mindset helps enable police personnel to be successful in their personal and professional lives.

A Multi-faceted Approach to Resilience and Wellness

Deborah Richardson, PhD

Clinical Services Coordinator, Victims Services Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation (USA)

Division’s approach to trauma informed care and stigma reduction for work force help seeking behaviors for personnel who provide direct and indirect service to victims of crime.  It’s a top down strategy to build resilience and promote wellness by working with executive management to encourage the workforce to use peer support, education and awareness, as well as self-assessment and therapeutic intervention when needed for resilience building and vicarious trauma risk mitigation. 

Increased efforts by management at all levels to talk about resilience for physical and psychological health (in practical terms) and to communicate the strengths of taking advantage of programs and services to mitigate work-related exposures to traumatic events, works to destigmatize the use of therapeutic practices and agency provided self-help programs.  When the work force feels safe enough to participate in therapeutic practices and trauma mitigation programs without fear of negative job impacts, the narrative changes from stigma to enlightenment to resilience.

The Greatest Battle: Mental Health Stigma in Policing

​Sergeant Laura Gibson

Digital Delivery Lead - National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group, Police Scotland

Harm Prevention (Mental Health and Suicide Prevention) Department, Police Scotland
National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group, Scottish Government
Churchill Fellow, Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (United Kingdom)

Research shows that the most effective way to reduce stigma is to know someone with a lived experience of mental health challenges. Sharing your story of resilience and recovery can help others to accept their own experiences and start their journey of seeking help and taking steps to manage their illness. In a policing culture which promotes toughness and fortitude and where mental illness is often perceived as a weakness, who would be brave enough to step forward and admit their struggles?

Officer Wellness: Wellness is NOT Weakness

​David Kennington, MA, LPC

Manager, Professional Wellness Section, Metropolitan Police Department of Nashville and Davidson County (USA)

This presentation will provide an overview of MNPD's Professional Wellness Section- Counseling Unit and Wellness Unit, Building Relationships from Day 1, and Challenging Stigma through Training and Wellness Checks.


















Thomas E. Coghlan, PsyD

Dr. Coghlan is a Cinical Psychologist specialized in Police & Public Safety Psychology, a retired NYPD Detective, and a past Visiting Law Enforcement Fellow with the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He operates a private practice in Great Neck, NY where he exclusively treats police officers and their families.  He is the New York Area Clinician for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Employee Assistance Program, a network clinician with the Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance, and an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at John Jay College. He conducts both psychological pre-employment and fitness-for-duty evaluations for a variety of public safety agencies in New York and New Jersey.




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Tremaine, Sayles, LCSW

Dr. Tremaine Sayles was born in New York City. He has earned degrees from Duke University Columbia University and St. John's University. He has held multiple high level positions including being assigned as the senior behavioral health officer in the US Army Reserve assigned at the Pentagon. Dr. Sayles was the Director of Counseling Services for the FDNY before becoming Director of CSU for the NYPD. He is affiliated with multiple colleges and universities and is a national speaker in the field of behavioral health and substance abuse.


Sergeant Laura Gibson

Laura has 20 years police service in Scotland. She has worked operationally and as a Detective in Edinburgh before teaching at the Scottish Police College. Since then, Laura has undertaken a variety of community based roles which ignited her interest in mental health and suicide prevention. Latterly, she worked within Police Wellbeing, and is passionate about supporting the needs of Police officers and staff. Laura is now seconded to the National Suicide Prevention Leadership group in the Scottish Government. She was recently awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship and this will fund her continued studies into personal resilience in the US.


Twitter: @LauraGib1975












David Kennington, MA, LPC

David Kennington manages the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department's Professional Wellness Section, which was cited as a model officer wellness program in a 2019 Department of Justice Congressional Report. He has served on several Officer Safety and Wellness Panels at the Department of Justice.
David has a B.A. in Psychology from The University of Texas-Austin (1988) and a M.A. in Professional Counseling from The University of Texas-Tyler (1994). He has over 30 years of clinical and supervisory experience.
David has been married to Korree for 23 years. They have 2 sons, Collin (20) and Cooper (16).


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Deborah Richardson, PhD

My background is in law enforcement research, project administration, program management and crisis intervention practice and response. My twenty-four year career with the FBI includes program management and providing mental health counseling and assistance to FBI personnel and their immediate family members. Currently, I am the Clinical Services Coordinator for the Victim Services Division, as such I provide clinical and technical guidance, and leadership in the development, extension, and improvement of post-trauma wellness and resilience systems, programs, strategies, and services for direct service personnel and victim service professionals.


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