Global Police Resilience Symposium

Published on September 22, 2020, 10:38 am
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Today marks the beginning of the Police Resilience Symposium, co-hosted by Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the New York City Police Department. The three-day, global event will virtually bring together leaders in policing, experts in resilience research, and prominent practitioners in resilience and wellbeing practices.

Given the heightened stress conditions police personnel face, especially in the midst of the CoViD-19 pandemic, ensuring officers are equipped with science-backed resilience practices is critical to both their personal wellbeing and their ability to effectively protect the communities they serve. Over the next three days, 14 sessions will be held and will include topics on resilience research, peer support, positive psychology, suicide prevention, resilience programs, and more.

The event, organized by the NYPD’s Health and Wellness Section along with Columbia University Department of Psychiatry’s Molecular Imaging and Neuropathology Research Area, started this morning with opening remarks from NYPD Police Commissioner, Dermot Shea, and Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Director, New York State Psychiatric Institute; and Psychiatrist-in-Chief, New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

“In spite of a wide array of personal and professional challenges, police officers across our nation and the world put on their uniforms each day and perform incredible acts in the name of keeping people safe,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “Without a doubt, societal pressures and the unique aspects of the coronavirus pandemic have made this an extraordinarily difficult time to be a public servant. I cannot imagine a more important moment in history for us to join with our partners to support our colleagues, and to share positive mental-health practices that enable us to continue our vital work.”

“Law enforcement is an essential institution to our society. In recent years the scope of their mission has expanded beyond what was initially intended. At the same time, political dynamics and social controversies have imposed additional scrutiny and pressure on the police. Consequently, the job of police has become more difficult and stressful. Therefore, efforts to provide professional support and stress management are warranted and should be established for proactive and reactive purposes to ensure the well-being of our best and finest,” said Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman

The three-day, cost-free symposium was created to engage a global audience. Session times were scheduled in order to allow for attendees in the Americas, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The diverse list of speakers includes the following from seven different countries:

Policing: NYPD, LAPD, FBI, Ottawa Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, Police Scotland, Lancashire Constabulary, College of Policing (U.K.), Police Academy of Netherlands, Denver Police Department, Metro Nashville Police Department, Australian Federal Police, Victoria Police, South Australia Police, Western Australia Police, and New Zealand Police.

Universities: Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, University of Oxford, Stanford University, University of Melbourne, Griffith University, Tilburg University, University of Calgary, University of Toronto, Miami University, University of California – Irvine, University of Iowa, New Jersey City University, Northwestern University, and SUNY Buffalo.

Organizations: Fraternal Order of Police, Australian Institute of Police Management, Oscar Kilo, Fortem Australia, Mental Health Commission of Canada,

The symposium consists of five plenary talks provided over the course of the three-day event. The speakers are:

  • Martin Seligman, PhD (Zellerbach Professor of Psychology, Director Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania).
  • Dennis Charney, MD (Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; President for Academic Affairs, Mount Sinai Health System; Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Pharmacological Sciences)
  • John Mann, MD (The Paul Janssen Professor of Translational Neuroscience at Columbia University Irving Medical Center; Director, Molecular Imaging and Neuropathology Research Area, Columbia University, Department of Psychiatry).
  • Sherri Martin (National Wellness Director, Fraternal Order of Police)
  • Emma Seppälä, PhD (Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education; Faculty Director of the Yale School of Management’s Women’s Leadership Program).

More information on the Police Resilience Symposium can be found at and on Twitter at @ResilienceSymp.

After the conclusion of the symposium, the sessions will be shared on the official YouTube channel.


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