WESTBOROUGH, MA June 15, 2018 I am working on a Police Chief’s Guide to Mental Illness with a colleague here in Massachusetts. Part of the project involves offering tips for career success for law enforcement officers. The guide is written to identify signs of MH involvement and add strategies for LEO’s to handle calls for service involving the mentally ill. These calls have grown in number over the recent past largely due to a desire to reduce the population of people with mental illness who are being held in county jails and state prisons. Jail diversion programs shunt cases from the criminal justice system into treatment for mental illness. In doing so, the subject with mental illness is more likely to fall off police radar and reduce the need for direct police intervention in the future.
Hardiness is a personality or cognitive style marked by increased levels of control, commitment, and challenge (Kobasa 1979; Maddi and Kobasa 1984). “Sisu” is a Finnish term related to concepts such as resilience, perseverance and hardiness. Hardiness can be learned and requires practice. “Learned resilience to stress leads to psychological hardiness rather than psychological weariness.” according to Leo F. Polizotti, Ph.D. of the Decision Institute in Worcester, MA. Dr. Polizotti teaches law enforcement officers methods of reducing stress and developing career hardiness.
High hardy individuals believe they can control or influence events and are strongly committed to activities and their interpersonal relationships and to self, in that they recognize their own distinctive values, goals, and priorities in life as described by Bartone in his 1999 publication. “Research on stress management, coping with trauma and post-traumatic growth all suggest that there can indeed be deep-seated, positive benefits to be gained from hardship. These include strengthening of character, a deeper experience of purpose and meaning, and increased resilience, as well as enhanced relationships and greater appreciation of life” in a blog by Emilia Lahti 2018.
“Sisu is a Finnish word generally meaning determination, bravery, and resilience. However, the word is widely considered to lack a proper translation into any other language. Sisu is about taking action against the odds and displaying courage and resoluteness in the face of adversity. Deciding on a course of action and then sticking to that decision against repeated failures is Sisu.” Backpacker Filth Blog 2015