In the next couple of months, both current and past members of the Lethbridge Police Service will have access to new wellness supports at their fingertips.
The Lethbridge Police Service Wellness App is being made possible by a wellness company called Cordico. Hundreds of organizations in the United States use its services, which span a variety of fields including health care, first responders and police.
With the goal of improving supports locally, LPS says this development has been in the works for quite some time.
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“Early on in 2020, we decided to have a look at [Cordico] and look at some different ways we could potentially enhance wellness, both mental and physical health to our staff members in the police service,” explained Deputy Chief Scott Woods.
More than 40 educational resources will be available on the app, including tools to deal with depression, alcohol, family support, financial fitness and sleep optimization. Therapy and peer support are also provided.
Woods says all employees, not only officers, will have the option to access these services. He adds it won’t be mandatory and the only data collected is user data to show usage, making the entire process confidential.
“It gives officers and staff that other level of security,” he said. “Not everybody wants everybody to know what they’re dealing with, so that was important for us too in the selection.”
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Retired staff of the LPS will be able to use the app, so as to not cut them off from potentially much-needed supports upon retirement.
“When you stop this job, [there’s] 25-30 years of history that you’ve had to deal with over time,” Woods said. “We wanted to provide something additional to them for their commitment and sacrifice that they’re provided throughout their career.”
Another important point, according to Woods, is the availability of spouses and partners to access the app, to provide them insight into what’s going on at the LPS.
“We’re all in this together, so it’s important for them to have the same resources,” he explained.
While Woods says the LPS has spoken with other police services regarding the use of Cordico as an added option for wellness, it is the only Canadian organization to have done so.