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Toolkit aimed at curbing health decline among correctional workers

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Photo: Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace

Lowell, MA — Noting that corrections officers have an average life expectancy that’s 16 years less than other occupational groups, the Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace has created a mentoring toolkit aimed at combating a decline in health early in correctional workers’ careers.

CPH-NEW is one of NIOSH’s Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health. From 2006 to 2011, the center’s Health Improvement Through Employee Control study documented a steady progression of disease risk factors during the first five years of employment among corrections officers, leading to physical inactivity, obesity, high levels of depression, and poor sleep and nutritional habits. The Total Worker Health Mentoring Toolkit for Corrections Personnel, available to download for free, is designed to be used by correctional organizations to organize a Total Worker Health mentoring program, recruit and train members, and evaluate the program.

 

“Mentors can play a crucial role in helping their mentees adapt to the challenges of being a correctional officer and assist them in developing personal, career and health goals,” CPH-NEW says in the toolkit’s introduction. “They support their mentees to reach these goals by providing encouragement, being positive role models, offering guidance and sometimes agreeing to work together on similar goals.”

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