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Department of Public Safety Hosts Yoga for First Responders Training

DENVER – Across the nation, first responders and public safety employees experience high rates of divorce, substance abuse and suicide. The nature of their work, and the direct and indirect trauma that accompany it, can significantly impact their mental and emotional well-being, and quality of life.

To help address these issues and support employees’ overall wellness, the Department of Public Safety is hosting a Yoga for First Responders (YFFR) Training Intensive July 17 – July 22, 2017.

Twenty employees from Denver 911 and the Denver Fire, Police and Sheriff Departments are participating in the training intensive. Once they complete the training, they will be certified instructors who can teach YFFR to employees across the Department of Public Safety. The training intensive is also open to yoga teachers.

YFFR complements the Department of Public Safety’s multi-pronged approach to supporting employee wellness, which includes providing preventative and situation-specific tools that can prevent or mitigate the detrimental impacts associated with recurring stress and trauma.

“We continually look for opportunities to expand the pool of resources that we offer employees to support their physical, mental and emotional well-being,” says Executive Director of Public Safety Stephanie O’Malley. “The practices taught through Yoga for First Responders are designed to treat the specific stress and trauma first responders encounter on the job, which naturally aligns with our efforts.”

YFFR is a non-profit organization that focuses on emotional wellness and resiliency training that enhances the lives and careers of first responders. Its exclusive protocols target areas in the body that hold tension, and integrate mental and physical training designed to improve resiliency and strengthen the mind and body.

“Alleviating the cumulative stress that accompanies this specific line of work supports peak performance on the job, a sustainable career, and a thriving personal life off-duty,” says Yoga for First Responders founder Olivia Kyitne. “Research studies also show that yoga and other mindfulness practices help alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress and vicarious traumatization.”