The Monmouth Medical Center in New Jersey is providing mental health support to the Long Branch Police Department thanks to a new partnership between the two organizations.
While police are receiving more training to deal with people in a mental health crisis, they often neglect to care for their own mental health.
Now, the MMC Behavioral Health Services team is working with the department by establishing a “Resiliency Room.” According to ROI NJ, Long Branch P.D. officers who have responded to a critical incident can seek confidential psychological support from the center’s outpatient behavioral health professionals.
The Resiliency Room is a first for the state of New Jersey. The specially designed building is located near the police department and aims to help officers cope with daily and acute stress on the job by allowing them to decompress and share their thoughts.
Sergeant Antonia Gonzalez of the LBPD helped found the program. A 25-year veteran and the first woman promoted to the rank of sergeant in the department’s history, she reached out to MMC a year ago about creating a wellness program for her fellow officers.
The Long Branch mayor also supported the idea and thanked the MMC for contributing their resources to provide mental health support to the police.
Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus CEO Eric Carney commented on the collaboration and its goal: “Through this new partnership, we are so pleased to share the expertise of our amazing mental health professionals in support of the Long Branch Police, our courageous frontline partners.”
He also thanked the city and first responders working on the front lines to battle COVID.
“Long Branch is such a fantastic host town for our hospital, and we can never thank the city enough, particularly over the last 18 months of our COVID journey together and witnessing the incredible work of all the frontline heroes. To watch this program come together has been transformational, and I congratulate Sergeant Gonzalez, who, with the teamwork of her fellow officers, made this happen.”