(New Castle, DE 19720) In keeping with the distinct designation of being at the forefront of police innovation, the New Castle County Division of Police is announcing the inception of the Holistic Officer Wellness Program (HOW).

The goal of HOW is to provide a service that delivers prevention and treatment of potential mental health issues for New Castle County Division of Police personnel and their retirees.  This program will support wellness within the Division by offering a variety of well-being enhancement opportunities to officers, civilian support staff, and their families.

This program will focus on four principles of overall wellness: mental, physical, social, and spiritual. For example, the program has a certified personal trainer available to assist officers with nutrition and fitness.  The program will also offer financial wellness presentations to assist officers with planning for current or future financial needs.

Recently, the program has added iRest, a meditation practice developed by Dr. Richard Miller based on the ancient tradition of Yoga Nidra and adapted to suit the conditions of modern life. 

Based on current studies with iRest in the military, the program has shown to be effective for conditions including chronic pain, sleep problems, depression and anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  This trauma-informed yoga is based on a particular understanding of trauma, one that emphasizes its impact on the entire mind-body system, as opposed to particular mental states (e.g., troubling memories) viewed in isolation from the physical body.

A certified iRest Meditation, Trauma-Informed Yoga Instructor, Jennifer Boileau, has been added to the staff.

This project was supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number 15JCOPS-21-GG-02453-SPPS awarded to New Castle County Division of Police by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.