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2024 Annual Conference Pre-Conference Education Session

Leading Into the Future

March 19-22, 2024 | Waco Convention Center, Waco, TX

Riley Harvill photoWellness: Teamwork and Mental Toughness

Tuesday, March 19 | 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Who Should Attend: All Fire Personnel
Instructor: Riley Harvill, PhD
Additional Fee: $100

Learning Objective: This course is designed to help Fire Professionals improve resilience and mental toughness through teamwork.

No doubt about it, Public Safety careers are one of the most stressful jobs out there. Research has revealed that the work you love is associated with higher rates of several mental health conditions including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, depression, and substance use disorder as well as increased suicidal ideation, stress, and burnout compared to the public.

Responding to violent situations, feeling fearful of potential injury, or experiencing negative interactions with the public while on duty could all be considered contributing operational factors. Other operational factors include workload and threats to safety and risk of injury or death. To date, PTSD is assumed to stem almost solely from experiencing life-threatening situations and the aftermath of bodily destruction.

But there are other factors that contribute to stress and PTSD which have not been studied. These include personal factors (home life and emotional triggers) and organizational factors (the presence or absence of trust and teamwork). These two are both intertwined and interconnected.

Organizational chart graphic

This interactive presentation will focus on emotional triggers and how teamwork/team connectedness can overcome the effects of Post Trauma. Participants will be presented with Early detection tools and the art of team accountability. A free assessment will be included and completed by each participant during the presentation.

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Riley Harvill, PhD

Dr. Riley Harvill is a co-founder and senior consultant of The HarBeck Company, Inc., a coaching/learning firm. He has thirty-five years of consulting/coaching experience with public safety agencies, municipalities, and the private sector. His specialties include the following:

  • Command Staff Development
  • Public Safety Promotional Testing
  • Post-Trauma Coaching & Wellness
  • Executive and Team Coaching
  • Pre-Hire Testing
  • Diversity Education and Training
  • Harassment Prevention Training

In the initial part of his career, Dr. Harvill was an Associate Professor of counseling psychology at Louisiana State University, The University of North Texas and several universities abroad including Hong Kong University and the Polish Institute of Computer Technology. He has published four books and numerous journal articles related to improving human relationships and increasing productivity.

In 2016, Riley formed an online promotional testing site. HarBeck has custom designed and delivered over 150 promotional tests to date. Currently, Dr. Harvill and his business partner, Rebecca Stallings, are designing an app devoted to Public Safety Wellness and will be available in fall 2023.

Dr. Harvill holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from West Virginia University.