The Staff Wellness Resource Library provides links to helpful tools and information for TDCJ staff regarding wellness and resiliency. Our goal is to connect you to information that may be helpful for you in your work and personal life. While stress and trauma are an inherent part of the job, you are not alone in navigating your experiences. Equipping yourself with skills and knowledge for managing the stress of the job will help you maintain your quality of life off-duty.

Gratitude and How it Affects Anxiety and Grief

Article about the benefits of practicing gratitude and how gratitude can help with anxiety, stress, and grief.

Grounding Technique - 5-4-3-2-1

This five-step exercise can be very helpful during periods of anxiety or panic by helping to ground you in the present when your mind is bouncing around between various anxious thoughts.

Grounding Techniques - A Variety of Techniques to Practice

After a trauma, it’s normal to experience flashbacks, anxiety, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Grounding techniques help control these symptoms by turning attention away from thoughts, memories, or worries, and refocusing on the present moment.

Grounding Techniques: 30 Techniques to Quiet Distressing Thoughts

Grounding is a practice that can help you pull away from flashbacks, unwanted memories, and negative or challenging emotions. These techniques may help distract you from what you’re experiencing and refocus on what’s happening in the present moment. You can use grounding techniques to help create space from distressing feelings in nearly any situation, but they’re especially helpful if you’re dealing with: anxiety, post-traumatic stress, dissociation, self-harm urges, traumatic memories, and substance use disorder.

Tactical Breathing

Tactical breathing is a method of using your breath to change how you feel physically and emotionally to focus your attention and improve your performance. Breathing is one of the most basic human activities, and learning to control it strategically can lower your stress, manage unhelpful emotions, and improve your long-term health.

After A Critical Incident

Basic stress management principles that have been shown to help ease or moderate some of the reactions to a critical incident. Includes common immediate stress reactions after a critical incident.

Critical Incident Stress Information Sheets

Signs and signal of stress reactions, things to try and information for family members and friends.

Post-Trauma - How to Help Yourself and Things to Avoid

People who have experienced or responded to a traumatic event often demonstrate changes in behavior. These suggestions may reduce the probability of long-term stress reactions. They may also be useful in helping you retain your emotional balance and perspective.

Signs of Critical Incident Stress

Officers responding to emergencies will see and experience events that include trauma, death, serious injuries and threats. These events are called "critical incidents". Signs and symptoms can be physical, emotional, cognitive, or behavioral. Individuals express stress in different ways. Signs and symptoms are reviewed in this link.

Traumatic/Critical Incident Stress Information for Spouses, Families & Significant Others

Helpful information for families and significant others when your loved one has been involved in an emotionally charged event, often referred to as a critical incident. Signs of critical incident stress, effects and helpful hints are discussed in this resource.

9 Ways to Build Strength in Law Enforcement Family Relationships

Research shows that when families are knowledgeable about law enforcement work and feel supported by their loved one’s department, their relationships are stronger and more resilient. Building stronger and more resilient families leads to stronger and more resilient officers who feel supported both at work and at home.

How to Help Your Law Enforcement Loved One

Law enforcement officers are often reluctant to seek mental health treatment for a variety of reasons. The people closest to them often hold a special kind of influence when trying to convince their loved one to seek help. This issue brief provides ways for family members, friends, and others to support their law enforcement loved one and shares practical strategies for helping officers in need.

Traumatic/Critical Incident Stress Information for Spouses, Families & Significant Others

Helpful information for families and significant others when your loved one has been involved in an emotionally charged event, often referred to as a critical incident. Signs of critical incident stress, effects and helpful hints are discussed in this resource.

Correctional Officer Care Checklist

Tips for prioritizing your basic needs while at work and outside of work. This resource also includes tips for taking care of your team.

Who to Contact for Help

This resource includes contact information for a variety of support resources and helplines.

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy - What Is EMDR?

EMDR is a structured therapy that encourages the patient to briefly focus on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and PTSD symptoms. Ongoing research supports positive clinical outcomes showing EMDR therapy as a helpful treatment for disorders such as anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic pain, addictions, and other distressing life experiences.

Find an EMDR Therapist

The EMDRIA "Find an EMDR Therapist Directory" is an up-to-date resource to find EMDR therapy in your area. The directory includes searches by location, name, and other criteria.

Warning Signs of Possible Mental Health Issues

What warning signs might feel like or look to co-workers when someone might be experiencing mental health issues.

When to Reach Out

At times it's easy to recognize signs that you need to talk to someone. But while the difficult shifts add up, you may underestimate the effects of trauma and stress - and it becomes easy to overlook the signs that you need support.

Chairman's PEAK Performance Challenge

The one-stop shop for enrollment and other great performance videos, podcasts, and webinars regarding the Chairman's PEAK Performance Challenge. You’ll be given the tools to live an overall healthier lifestyle - lowering stress, losing weight, improving sleep and emotional health! The program is available at no cost to TDCJ employees, retirees, or dependents who are 18 or older enrolled in a HealthSelect plan (excluding Medicare-primary participants).

How to Eat Healthy With Shift Work

Healthy eating tips to help you navigate changing work schedules and what to eat when working night shifts.

4 Pillars of Resilience for Law Enforcement

Information about resilience, why it is important and the four types of resilience.

7 Myths and Facts About Mental Toughness

Mental toughness is often described as a psychological edge that helps people endure challenges, overcome adversity, and achieve more success. There are many common myths about mental toughness that can influence your beliefs about where it comes from and your willingness to work at getting more of it. Check out these 7 common myths and facts about mental toughness.

Core Elements of Resiliency

Resilience can be developed through attention to external supports, inner strengths and learned skills. This resource outlines the core elements of resilience that will help you build your ability to recover from difficulties.

Methods to Maintain and Enhance Resilience

Methods for managing stress, preparing for crisis, recovery and other resilience tools and skills from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.

Power of Post-Traumatic Growth

Growth and distress are separate dimensions but are often co-occurring. Trauma survivors may experience adverse symptoms, but they can experience growth within the context of this distress. This webcast discusses how post-traumatic growth (PTG) can manifest itself in five domains: an increased appreciation for life, relating to others, new possibilities, an increased sense of personal strength, and spiritual growth.

Serving While Hurting

Law enforcement faces daily painful and often dangerous calls that can be difficult. Without the tools needed to process these potentially traumatic experiences, individuals might develop unhealthy coping mechanisms. Personal stress should be discussed at all levels, with resources made available to break this dangerous cycle. Developing a plan for resiliency and wellness reduces many adverse outcomes from unhealthy coping. This session will share lessons learned from professionals in the field, coupled with the resources of police chaplains.

Are You In Debt With Sleep?

The law enforcement profession can lead to issues with fatigue and sleep, but why is this such an issue? This podcast will discuss the physical toll that lack of sleep can cause, the importance of getting more sleep, optimal sleeping conditions, and changing how we address and help those in need of sleep.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep is essential to maintain and repair bodily functions and systems. Sleep, or lack of, has effects on all functions of the mind and body, which not only affect an officer's job, but also family wellness.

Trauma and Sleep

Stress from a traumatic event can often lead to a variety of sleep problems. This resource from the National Sleep Foundation includes tips for coping with sleep problems after a traumatic event.

5 Steps for Communicating With Someone Who May Be Suicidal

The five action steps for communicating with someone who may be suicidal are supported by evidence in the field of suicide prevention.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Whether you have struggled with suicide yourself or have lost a loved one, know you are not alone. AFSP provides resources, information and support.

Attempt Survivors

Tips for recovering from a suicide attempt and how to help others who are recovering.

Find a Suicide Loss Support Group

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention lists U.S. and international suicide bereavement support groups as a public service to loss survivors.

How to Help

If someone you know is struggling emotionally or having a hard time, you can be the difference in getting them the help they need. This resource discusses warning signs and action steps to help.

How to Help After Suicide Loss

Tips for taking care of yourself if you have lost a loved one to suicide and tips for supporting someone who has lost a loved one to suicide.

Suicide Awareness and Prevention Resources

Links to organizations providing services, support and information about suicide and prevention.

Suicide Loss Survivors - Alliance of Hope

Find support and connect with others who have experience a loss due to suicide.

Suicide Screening - Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS)

Suicide is preventable, and asking the right questions to identify who is at risk is a critical first step to ending it. This screening tool is simple, effective and evidence-supported.

Mental Health Resources for Veterans

Veterans' Administration has a variety of mental health resources, information, treatment options, and more — all accessible to Veterans, Veterans’ supporters, and the general public. Explore the pages above to learn more about a specific mental health topic or to find information specifically tailored to your needs.