Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Inside Story Podcast with April Adams Pertuis

Nov 11, 2020

In today’s episode, Police Sgt. Toni Gonzalez and I talk about the inside story on how she came to recognize a silent issue in the police work force that included confronting a devastating memory from her childhood, and how she conquered her fear of being judged to launch a life-saving program that aims to help not just police officers, but all first responders. 

Listen in as we discuss:

  • How Toni got into the police force, and the reality of choosing the job over having her son with her
  • What being a Hispanic woman meant when she first entered the academy
  • A specific incident on the job that led her to go into therapy -- finding out what was triggering the anxiety she felt when responding to work calls
  • How being called a train wreck hit home, spurred her to action, and made her look into how stress affected first responders and why it was not being openly discussed
  • Toni’s concept of bringing a mental “book bag” to work that fills up during the day, and how carrying a filled-up book bag can have an effect on your well-being
  • Understanding police officers as human beings who deserve respect, and not as machines with no feelings
  • How Toni decided to use her voice to bring light into the situation of cops, and launch a mental health and wellness program for police officers
  • The initial difficulty in combining the concepts of being a police officer who is seen as somebody tough, and practicing mindfulness in order to do a better job
  • The relevance of Toni’s Resiliency Room program in our present situation, and how mindfulness can have positive effects and help heal underlying issues affecting first responders

This episode tackles a difficult but important topic, and invites you to understand how and why mental health is front and center in the community today. 

Connect with Toni:

Reach out to the LIGHTBeamers community on Facebook: