The U.S. Embassy is proud to collaborate with the Ministry of Police, Prisons and Corrections to host a groundbreaking Law Enforcement Mental Health Wellness seminar for Samoa’s police and corrections officers from October 23 – 26. This seminar is facilitated by the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and is designed to provide essential support and education on mental health issues and represents a pivotal moment in the U.S. governments commitment to the well-being of Samoan police and corrections officers.
The mental wellness seminar is the first of its kind for the Ministry of Police and will offer an innovative platform for police officers to discuss the unique challenges they face daily and address the impact of these experiences on their mental health. “With the rising importance of mental wellness in the law enforcement community, the Ministry is committed to ensuring that our officers have access to the necessary resources and support system to effectively manage the pressures associated with their jobs,” said Police Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo.
“By investing in mental wellness, the Ministry aims to enhance operational readiness, improve job satisfaction, and combat the growing mental health challenges that police and corrections officers face,” he added.
Through this collaboration, the U.S. Air Force OSI will facilitate the seminar beginning with commissioned officers and the Senior Management of the Ministry. The sessions will focus on essential coping mechanism, stress reduction techniques, and strategies to promote overall mental wellness. Additionally, the seminar will include discussions on self-care practices, recognizing warning signs of mental health distress, and accessing appropriate resources for support.
Captain Anthony Sanger, Director of Psychological Health, OSI Pacific said, “This seminar will explore the importance of understanding the cultural nuances of Samoan law enforcement, the correlation between mental wellness and operational effectiveness, and the implementation of resilience training, peer support networks, and access to professional resources”.
“Our goal is to establish a strong foundation for open dialogue, awareness, and practical strategies that will enhance the mental well-being of those who serve in high-stress environments, said U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Noriko Horiuchi.
This seminar will also aim to foster international cooperation, exchanging best practices with the Ministry of Police, Prisons and Corrections, OSI, and the Australian Federal Police.
“By learning from similar cultural contexts and committing to long-term sustainability, we aim to ensure the lasting impact of our efforts. Together we set a precedent for international cooperation in promoting mental health within law enforcement agencies worldwide. I look forward to the insightful discussions and the positive changes that will undoubtedly result from our collective efforts,” said Charge Horiuchi.