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Podcast: Peer Support Builds Resiliency among Officers and Families

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Podcast featuring Leischen Stelter, Managing Editor, Edge and
Wendy Hummell, health and wellness coordinator, Sedgwick County Sheriff, Wichita, Kansas

More than ever, law enforcement officers must address mental health issues during their career and into retirement. In this episode, Wendy Hummell, a 24-year career officer and law enforcement spouse, talks about developing a robust peer support program for the Wichita (Kansas) Sheriff’s Office. Learn how peer support can bridge mental health gaps with professional counseling, and provide training and resources for spouses and children resulting in more resilient law enforcement families. Also learn about other stress management tools including Yoga for First Responders, tactical breathing, mindfulness training, and more.

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Read the Transcript:

Leischen Stelter: Welcome to the podcast. I’m your host, Leischen Stelter. Today we’re going to be talking about some of the challenges facing law enforcement officers in today’s highly charged environment and ways that officers can cope with stress and trauma.

Today my guest is Wendy Hummell, who is currently the health and wellness coordinator with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s office in Wichita, Kansas. Wendy has more than 24 years of experience in law enforcement and spent the majority of her career working persons crimes investigations, including homicide, gang and sex crimes cases.

One of Wendy’s passions, and one of her areas of expertise, is in officer health and wellness, peer-support programs and resiliency practices that include mindfulness training and yoga. She is committed to helping fellow first responders improve their wellbeing and job performance and believes strongly that all agencies must provide resources to help officers not only survive their career in law enforcement, but also thrive well into their retirement. Wendy, welcome to the podcast and thank you so much for joining me.

Wendy Hummell: Thank you so much for having me. It’s great to be here.

Leischen Stelter: So I know that it’s a difficult time to be in law enforcement. And I just wanted to start our conversation by asking you how you’re doing and how your fellow officers are doing? I know you’ve been working in law enforcement for a long time, and I’m just curious to hear how morale is among officers compared to years past, and how you see folks dealing with all the public criticism and attention.

Wendy Hummell: Well, that’s a great question. So for me personally, I am in a unique position and I’m not out on the street. So I’m doing very well. I keep busy. I was working from home for a few months, I’m now back in the office. And I’m housed out of our training academy because I do a lot of training for the recruits and the staff here. So a lot of my day-to-day activities are pretty much the same.

But obviously for other members of the department, it’s been a lot different. Even when all of this first started and a lot of people were quarantining and working from home, as you know, when you work in the jail or you work out on the street, you can’t work from home. So having to go to work every day, regardless, and have to deal with that unknown fear of a virus, as well as just the normal day-to-day stresses of the job definitely gets compounded.

So it seems as if our agency members are doing okay, but quite honestly, over the last several years we have had people that have been struggling. And so that’s why it’s so important, and a top priority for the sheriff, to implement a peer support program, which is a big part of why my job was created.

Leischen Stelter: I’m curious if you can tell us a little more about just the premise of a peer-support program. Is this something that many agencies have in place or is it still something that is really needed among agencies across the country?

Wendy Hummell: That’s a great question. And I don’t have numbers for you. I can tell you that there are a lot of agencies that do have really great peer support. But I think so many, because many law enforcement agencies are small, they’re under a hundred people, and I don’t believe that there’s a formal system or formal peer support program in place for many agencies.

So for instance, the agency that I’m now working for, the Sheriff’s Office, has always had a CISM team, that stands for Critical Incident Stress Management. And what that means is, any time there is what’s classified as a critical incident, which is something out of the ordinary activities that one might do during their daily shift, such as an officer-involved shooting, it could be a fatality crash where there’s one or multiple victims involved, you would hold, what’s called a CISD.

And that’s something where you would get a group of peers together that were involved as well as those trained in CISM or peer support. And it’s an organized discussion to kind of process what happened during that call.

But peer support is, if we just kind of step back and widen the lens a little bit, it’s not just a reactionary approach to things. It’s also a heavy emphasis on preventative and proactive measures to help support members of the agency.

And I can tell you here, that’s what we are in the process of creating. We were fortunate enough to just get awarded a federal COPS grant through the LEMHWA Act, which stands for Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act. For those who are not familiar, congress passed that in 2018 and as a result, they came up with multiple grants that they were offering to different law enforcement agencies and corrections agencies to implement peer support.

And so earlier this year, that process was opened and we applied and were fortunate enough to be one of the agencies granted an award to help start our peer support program. So for us, that’s very exciting because it will really help support our program and get things started.

Leischen Stelter: Can you tell us where you are in the creation of this program? And I’m also curious about some of the really important elements, which I would imagine would be training peer support leaders. But can you just give us kind of an overview of how you’re putting this program together and even some of the challenges you might be facing?

Wendy Hummell: Absolutely. I am very fortunate, when I say, I, I really mean the agency, but me as the person trying to create this, that I have a really good support system in the state of Kansas. There is an agency in Kansas, it’s a nonprofit organization called First Midwest. It was created, actually, by a KBI agent who has been doing peer support for about 11 years now. And she has created a statewide peer support network and also a five-day peer support training that she’s involved in, as well as some mental health clinicians.

And so, as a result, I went through their training a few years ago and I got to know them very well and learned about the efforts across the state.

And the idea is that once you go through this training, not only are you a peer support member for your agency, but you can help support other agencies across the state, for those agencies that may not have a team, or that may need extra assistance.

For instance, earlier this year, unfortunately, in the Kansas City area, in Overland Park, Kansas, there was an officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of a law enforcement officer. And as a result, multiple peer supporters were needed to assist in multiple debriefings that the agency was holding and I was able to go up and assist and, and vice versa.

So where we are is, I have modeled a policy that we just recently created for our agency, from the KBI, from Overland Park, from Olatha because they all have these peer support policies in place. And so we’ve created policy and we are mirroring our program after them.

And what that entails is an advisory committee. So on our particular advisory committee, we’ve got the Sheriff, we have a mental health clinician, a chaplain, myself, and a few others that are overseeing and guiding the program.

The second important thing that we’re in the process of doing is vetting team members. So as part of our grant, our plan is to train 10% of our agency. So in our case, that means 50 team members coming from detention, the commission group, and civilians as well. We even want to consider adding a retired member of the agency onto the peer support team.

And as a result, we are going to start in January with our first five-day class, and we hope to fill it with 28 people. Part of our grant also includes collaborating with other peer support agencies in Sedgwick County and really, beyond. And so we will have spots offered free of charge to those agencies who would like to also train peer support members. So right now we’re in the process of vetting members, we’re going to have a process and then the training will start in January.

Leischen Stelter: That’s wonderful. I’m sure it’s amazing to see this just coming to fruition as something that you know is just very desperately needed within law enforcement. And I was wondering, could you just take a step back and tell our listeners why peer support is just so important in law enforcement?

Wendy Hummell: Oh, absolutely. With peer support, typically we think of supporting members of the agency because of things that happen at work and that’s definitely something that’s needed. But a lot of times what we find in peer support, and I think everyone out there who’s listening can probably relate, I know I can, is that oftentimes the stress that we have comes from our personal lives: Relationships, stresses at home. And that impacts what you do on the job.

I mean, there’s a term called cognitive load. There’s only so many things that we can have going on at the same time and we have to take those factors into consideration. Sometimes you may have an employee that’s usually a very good employee and maybe they start to call in sick. Maybe they start to get complaints and that’s just not normally how they operate at work. And so we need to really pay attention to those things so we can support people when they may be going through a rough patch.

Leischen Stelter: So you’ve been in law enforcement for 24 years and I’m curious how you’ve seen the mentality towards this kind of support change, hopefully change, over the years. Do you feel like officers today are a lot more receptive to getting this kind of help, whether it’s from peers or even from trained professionals and clinicians? Can you just talk a little bit about the mentality shift in law enforcement in general?

Wendy Hummell: Yeah, absolutely. And I definitely have seen a shift so I can just speak from my personal experience. I would say about five or six years ago, this particular issue became important to me and I started to bring things up when I still worked for the police department. I am retired from the Wichita Police Department. I retired last January and I currently work at the Sheriff’s Office, which is in the same town as the health and wellness coordinator.

Interestingly enough, our academy houses both the Sheriff’s Office and the police department. So we still work together quite a bit. But when I first started to talk about things like resiliency training, yoga for first responders and mindfulness people looked at me crossways. And peer support and CISM is something that’s always been available, mostly CISM, but I know that there were still a very large stigma attached to talking about these kinds of things.

And I think we’re turning a corner. I do see some cultural transformation slowly starting to happen. That doesn’t happen overnight. I can tell you here with the Sheriff’s office, since I have been here and in this position, I’ve had a lot of people very interested in participating, wanting to help their peers, willing to speak about their own personal experiences and stories of things that they’ve gone through during the course of their career, which is really what we need to be doing.

I’ve also had people willing to talk about going to see a therapist. And really, the whole role of peer support is, you’re kind of a bridge. You have your peers come to you, whether it be on a one-on-one basis, whether it be in a group setting and talk to you. Sometimes that’s all they need is just a listening ear, but other times they need more.

And so people trained in peer support will be able to bridge that gap and be able to direct people with various resources in the community. Because one thing that is lacking, at least in our area are culturally competent mental health professionals.

As first responders, we are a unique group of people. And so it’s important if somebody does decide or make the decision on their own to seek out a therapeutic option, that, as an agency, we’re able to recommend a list of culturally competent mental health professionals.

So that’s kind of another thing that I’m working on in the community. We’re also very fortunate to have a great Employee Assistance Program. So the mental health professionals that we work with on our debriefings and as part of our program are also able to help refer out in the community to those culturally competent mental health professionals.

Leischen Stelter: I’m so glad that you brought up how important it is to seek out therapy from professionals who really know how to treat public safety professionals, because as you said, the stress and the trauma that officers face throughout their career, even if it’s not a direct incident, but just the years and years of seeing things that no person should really have to be subjected to, can really create trauma among officers.

And I know that you and I helped work on this publication that AMU released called Rebuilding Officer Resiliency, a Treatment Guide. And really, the entire purpose of that magazine is just to help officers understand the different kind of therapeutic options that are available, including some of the things that you mentioned earlier, like mindfulness and yoga and other resiliency training. But also taking that next step to really seeking professional therapy.

And as you said earlier, I think it’s so important to have that peer support in place because they really are the ones who can provide some help, but also say to their fellow officers, “You need to take the next step.”

And I think that’s just a really important piece to this bigger puzzle in terms of helping officers with their mental health. And one other thing I wanted to just ask you, because you’re not only an officer yourself, but you’re also a law enforcement spouse, is that correct?

Wendy Hummell: Yes. My husband is now retired, but, yes, I was a law enforcement spouse.

Leischen Stelter: Can you just talk about that perspective? I don’t know if there’s any advice or thoughts that you have for spouses of law enforcement officers, in terms of encouraging their law enforcement partner to seek help? But is that something that you kind of weave into this program, is just support for spouses?

Wendy Hummell: Absolutely. And I’m really glad you asked me about that because that is a huge piece in this peer support program. So one of the things that we highly encourage, and as a matter of fact, we start in the Academy with the recruits, is we have a day where we bring families in before they’re going to graduate. Talk to them about the job, talk to them about the resources that are available within the agency, because if there’s a problem, the first person that’s going to notice it is going to be your family member at home.

Things are going to start to surface. And that’s why training is so important. So not only for the employee or the officer or the person that works in the jail, but also to train family members, “If you see behavior changes, if you see this, it could be a result of this.” And so just educating people, providing them with that information so that they recognize what it could be, and then taking the next step and saying, “Here’s some things that you can do about it.”

One of the things that we are going to be offering our people in the very, very near future, as a result of this grant, is a really great mental health and wellness app. That is again, just providing another tool for those people who may not want to do peer support, who may not want to go to therapy.

It’s anonymous wellness app put on by Cordico. And there are self-assessment tools; really good content on what compassion fatigue is; what is trauma; what is resiliency; there’s physical fitness tips; nutrition tips. I mean just a plethora of really good information and resources.

And that will also be available to spouses and family members and retirees so that they have that information at their fingertips too, because sometimes we might give information to an employee, but that doesn’t necessarily get passed along to the spouse or the people at home. So very, very crucial piece in what we’re trying to do here.

Leischen Stelter: I’m glad that you touched on more of that family aspect too, because one thing I’ve been reading a lot about lately and thinking about is this concept of building a resilient law enforcement family.

And as you know, someone who’s involved in law enforcement, your husband as well, it really is a commitment and a sacrifice by the whole family. And things that affect you, affect children and families, affect friends and family. And it really is trying to build that resiliency among officers themselves, but also providing support for their families. Can you talk about any kind of family support elements?

Wendy Hummell: Just to kind of touch upon what you said, I think sometimes we don’t even realize how the type of work that we do impacts our family, but I do think it’s really important to think about this. I can just provide you with one example.

When I was a detective, I was a detective for many years and got called out at all hours of the night for the majority of my career. And I have two daughters and one of them at the time, was very young and told me, actually not that long ago, it was in the past year, and she’s 11 now, that she remembers me leaving the house in the middle of the night and watching me leave, looking out the window. And she started crying because she was really upset that I was leaving and she was worried about me.

And it kind of broke my heart because, first of all, I had no idea she was even awake and old enough to realize what was happening. And that just really hit home for me, the impact that the type of work that we do has on our kids. And we really need to pay attention to that. And like you mentioned, pay attention and not just think about resilience for the officer, but for the whole family and to include them in some of these coping strategies and things that they can do to ward off some of those effects of the job.

Leischen Stelter: Absolutely. I’ve been publishing some articles recently about therapists who are specialized in law enforcement, providing services for children of public safety professionals, mostly law enforcement officers. And just, some of the really important elements of treating children who, like you mentioned, they’re afraid for their parents and things like watching the news can be really traumatic because you see officers and there’s just a lot involved and it really can affect the psychology of those children. So I think again, to seek out specialized treatment, not only for officers and their spouses, but also for children.

So one thing I just wanted to talk about too, since you are technically in retirement, although it sounds like you’re not retired at all. I think that’s another area that agencies or officers overlook when it comes to mental health is, what will happen in retirement.

And it’s kind of my impression, and please correct me if I’m wrong, that once you retire from law enforcement people just think that you’re going to be okay. You’re going to get in your RV and travel the country and be fine.

But for a lot of officers, that’s just not the case at all. That there’s a lot of trauma that can surface without having that day-to-day structure and routine. Can you talk a little bit about some of the challenges in addressing mental health issues among officers who are retired?

Wendy Hummell: Yeah, absolutely. And I’m glad you brought that up because a lot of times, you’re right, we think, “Oh, that person made it, they’re retired. Everything’s great.” And oftentimes it is, but you have to look at what has that person done so that they can retire and thrive into that retirement and retire healthfully and enjoy themselves in retirement because that’s not always what happens.

And it’s actually been something in the back of my mind that I’d like to talk about with people at this agency when you’re within a few years, “Here’s some things to consider.” And it’s something that I wish I would have thought a little bit more closely about, quite honestly.

We don’t like to say this, but a lot of us, we often really identify strongly with our role in law enforcement or our role as a corrections officer or whatever the case may be. And we have to remember, that’s not all of what we are. And oftentimes people who struggle over identify with their role in their law enforcement career or corrections career.

So I think it’s really important to think about that because what we do, if we’re not careful, over the course of our careers, we compartmentalize all the things that we’ve seen over the course of our career.

We may not have gone through a shooting or a critical incident per se, but maybe just the accumulation of all the different things that we have seen, we’ve kind of stored that away because at the time that’s what we’re trained to do. We’ve got to work, we have a job to do, but if you don’t deal with that particular thing or issue or call as they come, then at the end of a career, they’re going to come out eventually. And so that’s where we see problems arise.

So I think it’s really important to start this training from the beginning of a career and throughout a career so that when you do retire, you already have all this information, you’ve got these skills in place, you know how to healthfully cope and be resilient so that you can enjoy retirement. So I think it’s absolutely a huge piece in this peer support and wellness space.

Leischen Stelter: Absolutely. Just helping officers prepare for retirement in many ways, like you said, just mentally prepare for it and then also just that routine and establishing kind of the second life, really, after law enforcement.

So I’m glad to hear that retirement is on the mindset of agencies and leadership because once an officer leaves, you can’t just drop support for them. And I know, unfortunately there’s a lot of cases and a pretty high rate of suicide after law enforcement. So just trying to help officers prepare for that transition is just so important.

Wendy Hummell: Yeah. And I’d like to just mention really quickly. So along this line, my husband told me about a book called “Second Mountain.” It’s written by somebody named David Brooks and I hope I’m remembering that author correctly. And so I actually, bought it for him thinking he wanted to read it. Well, I ended up reading it. And what I really like about that analogy, the second mountain, it makes me think of people who retire. Because we are able in law enforcement, we’re afforded the opportunity to retire a little bit sooner than most. And I think that’s for good reason.

And so I like to present it to people, “What are you going to do with your second mountain?” That first mountain is all about climbing to the top, working through your career. It’s a little bit more ego-centered, about yourself. And typically when people get older and they get into that second mountain thinking about what do they want to do? How do they want to make a difference and what’s next, so to speak. So I just really liked that analogy. I wanted to throw that out there since we were talking about retirement.

Leischen Stelter: And that sounds like a great resource. We’ll make sure to include the link in this episode so folks can check that out. Another thing I wanted to talk to you about, because I understand just from having worked with you, that you’re really passionate about some other areas of resiliency-building that kind of go beyond sort of the formal assistance, like the EAPs and the peer support and the critical incident assistance.

Can you talk a little bit about some of the ways that you have personally managed to cope with a lot of the stress and trauma that you’ve experienced? I’m thinking specifically the concept of mindfulness. And then I also want to talk about your work as a yoga teacher.

Wendy Hummell: Yeah. I love to talk about yoga. For me, personally, I started doing yoga I would say, let’s see, 12 years ago, regularly. I’d always been pretty active, but I had my kids late in life and so when I was about 41, after I had my second daughter, I started to go to yoga regularly to just really to lose weight.

Well, I quickly figured out, after doing it for a little while that it made me feel better in more ways than I could’ve ever imagined. So in a yoga class, we often do breathing, which a lot of people don’t realize this and I try to not get too much into this nerd science stuff. But what you’re doing is you’re tapping into that branch of your nervous system called the parasympathetic nervous system, which also involves the vagus nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body. And when you stimulate that vagus nerve, what you’re doing is you’re stimulating the part of your nervous system that calms everything down.

So if your stress response has been activated, regardless if it’s out on a call or because of an argument with a spouse or whatever the case may be, you need to be able to self-regulate that nervous system. And the breath is a direct way to do that.

And so after I learned that it was like the light bulb went on and I needed to share this information with people that I work with, because it’s a really easy tool that everyone has and you can do it anytime you want. So, that’s something that I personally practice regularly. I try to teach to the recruits. And any time you come through a resilience class that I teach, we go through at least one breathing exercise, if not two, sometimes.

So yoga, as far as the physical portion of the class, the reason why I think it’s so important to consider yoga, if it’s not something that you’ve ever tried, is that you’re moving your body in different ways than you do normally with other types of exercise.

And what I mean by that is a lot of times you are doing up and down or lateral movements, whether it’s running or biking or weightlifting. And there are some other forms of exercise like CrossFit that involve moving in different planes of movement. But with yoga, you’re twisting, you’re laterally bending, you’re moving your body in all different ways so that you can access the parts of the body that are physically holding onto stress.

So a lot of times people don’t think of stress being in your body, but I’ll talk about another great book that I love called “The Body Keeps the Score,” which talks about this topic. If you’re wanting to explore it more. And so that stress, the trauma that builds up throughout the day, can physically get trapped in the body.

And by physically working it out, whether it be through yoga or really, other forms of exercise, you’re physically processing it out. And so that’s really the message that I like to share with people because unfortunately some of us can be pretty sedentary. And if you don’t move the body, that stress is going to get stored and stuck and build up over time. And honestly it can eventually lead to inflammation, immune disorders, and other kinds of diseases.

So I really like to preach it from that standpoint, because as first responders, we really are more susceptible to certain stress-related health issues. And we have to think big picture. Why it’s so important to exercise, it’s not just so we can fit into those new pair of jeans, it’s so that we can prevent ourselves from getting diseases and living a long, healthy life. And then when we retire, we’re not sick.

Leischen Stelter: That’s wonderful. And I can second your motion of how important yoga is. Every time I do yoga, I think to myself, “Why don’t I do this all the time? I feel so wonderful.” And like you said, there really can be those lasting impacts that go beyond a typical work out, whether it’s lifting weights or whatnot.

Can you talk a little bit about some of your instructing experience in yoga because you work for an organization called Yoga for First Responders, correct?

Wendy Hummell: Yeah, I do. So on my own, I went and got trained as a yoga teacher. I did that independent of my job and I was a 200-hour certified teacher, but I went back for some advanced training so now I’m a 500-hour registered yoga teacher.

But besides that, I am trained to be a Yoga for First Responders instructor. And I did that back in 2016. And that was a six-day intensive training that not only do yoga teachers go through, but people who work for different agencies.

For instance, a lot of times when agencies send their people, like I did when I was with the police department, those people work in the defense tactics areas or at the academy. Because a lot of what you learn in Yoga for First Responders kind of translates or crosses over with other skills that you’re taught when you go through training or that you need for your job.

So essentially, what it is, is just a culturally competent way to share yoga with first responders. You’re really taught a certain protocol language that’s used during the class, the certain poses, but we call them drills when we teach Yoga for First Responders. Also, what’s a big element of the class is the tactical breathing, the breathing techniques. And I kind of explained the benefit of that earlier.

And then there’s also, what’s called cognitive declarations, which are basically positive affirmations. If anybody’s ever seen Stuart Smalley on Saturday Night Live, that’s usually how I like to describe it, but you’re saying something positive when your body is under a stressful situation. So that you’re training yourself that when your stress response is activated, when our mind may normally go to something negative, to flip the script and say something positive.

And then one of the elements is called a neurological reset, or you’re taught, at the end of class, to basically reset the nervous system so it’s back to homeostasis. So it’s a really great curriculum, really geared towards first responders that I teach the academy curriculum here at the Sheriff’s office. I teach it to the detention recruits and I teach it to the commission recruits.

Leischen Stelter: That’s wonderful. It’s just so great to hear that yoga is being incorporated in a way that first responders can really recognize, using the language and just different elements that they can relate to. And it’s one of those things, I’m sure you feel this way too, that if everyone would just try yoga, just whatever you think about it, just give it a try and it can be just immediately impactful. So kudos to you for spreading that message.

Wendy Hummell: Thank you. So, one thing I wanted to ask you, and this is kind of a big picture wish list kind of question, since you’ve been involved in all these different elements of wellness, both mental and physical wellness, what do you wish that all agencies and just all law enforcement leaders, in general, would do to help their officers address their own wellness issues? Are there just a few things you can point to that if all agencies did this, law enforcement overall would just be in much better shape?

Well, I heard someone say, and I can’t remember who it was, at a conference that I attended earlier this year at one of the opening ceremonies, “We would never send an officer out on the street without a bulletproof vest to protect themselves from possibly being shot. So why wouldn’t we bulletproof their brain? Their mental health, it’s kind of the same thing.”

So I think the first step is for every agency to, whether you have the resources to have a full-time wellness coordinator, resilience coordinator, whatever you’re going to call it, or if you’re a smaller agency at least appoint someone to have a collateral duty to start to really spend some time on this.

Every agency is going to have different needs depending on the size and really the makeup. For instance, here, we’ve got detention and commissioned personnel, not just law enforcement. And of course you can never forget about the civilian personnel because they are impacted as well. So I think that’s the first step.

And then, depending on how much financial backing you have, which is obviously kind of a struggle right now, given the current environment, resources is really important. Are you able to support your program? Whether it be bringing people in from the outside or training personnel to help deliver physical fitness, providing time on duty to give your personnel to work out and to provide them time to work on their fitness.

Because one thing that I’ve recently learned from listening to Dr. Kevin Gilmartin and hearing him on some recent podcasts, he talks a lot about the mental health benefits of physical fitness. And how agencies really need to think about incorporating mandatory time with every shift, in particular after your shift.

So depending on your resources, appointing someone. Financial, putting it in your budget, if you’re not able to apply for a grant, then making sure that you have a budget somehow to include funding these different programs. But there’s just so much that you can do. I mean, I have a pie-in-the-sky infographic that I designed on my ideal wellness program. And I think I’ve provided to you guys in the past about what I’d like to see.

Wellness Program
Image provided by and used with permission from W. Hummell.

So it just really depends on what your resources are. But I think the first thing you need to do is dedicate a person to really be working on this. You can’t really voluntell somebody to do it, it has to be that person in the agency that’s passionate, that wants to do it, that cares about it because otherwise it just won’t be successful.

Leischen Stelter: Wonderful. Well, Wendy, is there anything else about physical or mental wellness that we haven’t talked about that you wanted to mention?

Wendy Hummell: I could talk about this stuff for hours, but I think we hit the high points.

Leischen Stelter: Wonderful. Well, Wendy, thank you so much for sharing your expertise and all the work that you’re doing and best of luck to you as you’re setting up this peer support program and keep us updated. We’ll have to have you back on after this is up and running, and maybe you can share some of the challenges that you face and the ways that your agency overcame them and just help share some lessons learned with our listeners.

Wendy Hummell: I would love that. Thank you so much.

Leischen Stelter: And thank you to our listeners for joining us today. Be well and stay safe.

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