The Divergence of Institution, Leadership, and Culture: Creating an Environment for Better Health and Well-Being in Policing
This conference workshop presentation discusses organizational wellbeing and law enforcement leaders role in developing a culture that supports wellbeing. Law enforcement organizations have a responsibility to prevent and support individuals in dealing with their mental health and the challenges the job brings, especially in today's problematic, dangerous, and complex social environment. Law enforcement leaders play a pivotal role in creating the type of environment that promotes and encourages mental and emotional well-being in the workplace. Yet to date, leadership development and training has failed to grasp and emphasize the value of leadership as a mental health stream. Perhaps the greatest challenge though in achieving traction of a successful mental health program is the policing culture, a culture based on stoicism, distrust, cynicism, skepticism, and pessimism all embed in law enforcement as a physical, emotional, and psychological survival mechanism. At the same time, this survival mechanism simultaneously impedes and discourages organizational help seeking behavior.
This conference workshop presentation is interpreted in Arabic, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Australian Federal Police
Grant recently retired from the Australian Federal Police after a 34 year career. He has enjoyed a very diverse career working in fields such as family law, international drug trafficking, Cyber Crime, major organised crime and people smuggling. In 1998 he commenced as the AFP'S international liaison officer based in Los Angeles covering the western states of the USA, Canada and Mexico. He established the AFP's Transnational Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Team in 2003, which addresses crimes of transnational sexual exploitation and travelling child sex offenders. From here he took the position of Chair of the Interpol Expert working Group on trafficking in Women and Children, becoming an international expert in this field. In January 2008 Commander Edwards was posted to Timor-Leste as the senior AFP member responsible for the Timor-Leste Police Development Program (TLPDP) as well as the Advisor to the Secretary of State for Security within the Government of Timor Leste. In 2012 Commander Edwards commenced as the Commander Afghanistan Mission oversighting the AFP's contribution to rebuilding the Afghan Police as well as Deputy Head of the International Police Coordination Board, Afghanistan. Most recently, Commander Edwards completed a three year posting to Washington DC as the AFP's most senior officer in the Americas responsible for all law enforcement engagement with Canada, USA, Mexico, Central and South America. Grant holds a Masters degree in leadership, policy and governance studies through Charles Sturt University, a Bachelor of Arts (Australian National University) and is a graduate of the FBI Law Enforcement Senior Executive Program. As an accomplished sportsperson Grant has represented Australia in Athletics, Bobsleigh, powerlifting and Scottish Highland Games. He has competed across the world in Strongman events, including the 1999 Worlds Strongest Man competition in Malta. He is well known for physically pulling steam trains; planes, boats and trucks, culminating in a Guinness World Record for single handedly pulling a 201 tonne steam locomotive. In 2017 he single handedly pulled a 178 tonne C-17 US Military Globemaster to raise awareness for mental health in Policing. Grant is a passionate advocate in the field of mental health, especially as it applies to Police. His personal lived experience was shown on the ABC's Australian Story in 2017. Whilst in Washington DC he hosted on behalf of the AFP two global mental health symposiums for police bringing together experts from law enforcement, academia, policy and the medical profession across the world to identify and enhance a unified universal best practice for managing the mental health of police, family and retired members. In 2019 Grant published his memoir titled 'The Strongman', published by Simon & Schuster.