As a corrections officer, you will face situations that fall outside a typical day job. You may encounter situations that are tense or be faced with combative individuals. You may need to step in if an emergency situation arises, and there will be times when you will need to make tough decisions quickly. For all of these reasons, a job as a corrections officer can be challenging, so it’s crucial to assess if you are psychologically ready to take this step.
One notable benefit of working for the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center is the presence of a robust peer support program. The peer support program plays a crucial role in maintaining the mental and emotional well-being of the correctional officers and staff members. The program acts as a support network that allows employees to connect with and seek assistance from their colleagues who have received specialized training that qualifies them to provide emotional, social, or practical help to fellow officers in difficult or stressful situations. Peer support officers at MDC receive training from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Individual Crisis Intervention and Peer Support, Group Crisis Intervention, Mental Health First Aid, and Advanced Individual Crisis Intervention and Peer Support.
One of the significant advantages of this program is the sense of understanding and empathy it fosters among the staff members. The peer support program provides a safe space for employees to share their experiences, difficulties, and emotions with their peers who can truly understand their struggles. Whether an officer is faced with a family, financial, relationship, work, or some other crisis, just talking to someone may be just the help they need. Peer support group officers help by listening, coaching, and offering advice. This creates an environment of trust and solidarity, helping to alleviate stress and promote mental well-being. This program not only contributes to better mental health, but also enhances job satisfaction and helps employees feel more connected to their work and the overall mission of the detention center.