County Examples

Wellness & Resiliency

Tags: Health

Prince William County, Va.

With the alarming trend of mental health, diabetes, obesity, and other health concerns related specifically to first responders nationwide, Prince William County sought to provide employees with the tools necessary to recognize, combat, and ultimately prevent these wellness-related issues. In response to several difficult years within the Police Department, the County supported the initiative and the Police Department’s Wellness & Resiliency Unit was established in 2016 and given a mission to assist employees in maintaining and/or improving their overall wellness by providing a multi-faceted approach that offers educational opportunities, peer fitness support groups, and a variety of other tools. As the County and the Department have a goal of focusing on opportunities that are inclusive of all aspects of wellness, the Wellness & Resiliency Unit is responsible for overseeing a robust volunteer Chaplain Program, the Department’s Peer Support Team, and the Peer Fitness Advisor Team. All of these teams together have the tools to assist with overall wellness of employees including spiritual, social, and physical wellness. Continuing in this forward-thinking trend, the County recognized the importance of providing public safety staff with easily-accessible, quality mental health care in a way that both protected confidentiality of staff while also providing strong opportunities for rapport-building and law enforcement cultural awareness by the mental health provider. The Police Department, in partnership with the County’s Department of Fire and Rescue, Public Safety Communications, and Community Services Board, developed an idea for a Public Safety Resilience Program. The program would be a stand-alone unit within the County government. While the County does have an established Employee Assistance Program, this PSRP is offered in conjunction with the EAP services. This idea was implemented by the County in September of 2016. The Police Department also coordinates of variety of wellness-related training. The goal is to move toward a culture of awareness of healthy lifestyles in the workplace by providing educational opportunities, hands-on experiences, and small group presentations to address a large array of health and wellness-related topics for all employees.

Tara Van Horn 

About 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work

Counties play an essential role in keeping America’s communities healthy, vibrant and safe. With public and private sector partners, we pursue innovative approaches to advance public health and well-being, protect public safety and foster economic strength and resiliency. Counties anticipate and adapt to challenges by thinking outside the box and demonstrating local leadership that makes a difference in people’s lives.

Under the leadership of NACo Immediate Past President Bryan Desloge, NACo embarked on an initiative to identify and share 100 examples of visionary county leadership that results in improving residents’ quality of life. Through this initiative, NACo worked with county leaders and partners to share best practices that bolster our nation’s ability to thrive county by county.

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