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Burnout & Suicidality Among Law Enforcement


  • Dr. George Dabdoub, Psy.D., Clinical Director, First Responder Unit, Institutes of Health

    Dr. Dabdoub began his career with the Los Angeles Police Department in 1993. His last duty assignment was with the Major Crimes Division, where he served as a Detective and a Reserve Police Officer after retirement. Throughout his tenure in the Department, he completed a wide variety of assignments. His duties included undercover operations, informant handling, gang intervention, asset protection, drug interdiction, cyber investigations, patrol operations, and administrative procedural compliance. He was a court qualified Gang Expert and Narcotics Expert, and firearms and tactics instructor.

    Dr. Dabdoub’s interest in psychology developed during his career in law enforcement when he was first exposed to the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) as a linguist and Mental Health Intervention Training (MHIT). MHIT is aimed at helping police officers understand and assist individuals struggling with mental illness, which fostered his curiosity in psychology in order to better serve the community.

    Dr. Dabdoub completed his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of La Verne. His original research recruited active and retired police officers of all ranks and job specialties throughout the United States. His work explored the costs associated with serving in law enforcement and looked at various factors including burnout, compassion fatigue, suicidality, and use of force. In his clinical training and experience, he worked with diverse groups including adults who were at risk for suicide, struggling with severe mental illness, or who experienced trauma throughout their lifespan. Dr. Dabdoub worked in several hospital settings, including private hospitals and the Veteran’s Health Administration. While at Loma Linda VA, he completed rotations with the PTSD Clinical Team, Behavioral Health Interdisciplinary Program, Substance Treatment and Recovery, Inpatient Consultation & Liaison Emergency Service Team, and Health Psychology. As a postdoctoral resident, he began the PTSD Clinical Team’s law enforcement specific VA Outreach program, educating local law enforcement organizations on PTSD and its impact on the Veteran community. His outreach team provided police officers with resources that were available through the VA to assist them in their duties when encountering Veterans. In addition, the program was designed to help law enforcement officers understand compassion fatigue, burnout, suicidality, and their effects on the law enforcement community.

    Before joining Institutes of Health, Dr Dabdoub served as the Clinical Psychologist for an active duty Marine Corps unit on the East Coast that was actively involved in combat operations all over the world. In addition to his clinical work, he implemented various programs aimed at preventing and mitigating mental health concerns, reducing stigma, increasing resilience, and improving overall mission performance. Dr. Dabdoub continues to focus his clinical skills on PTSD, burnout, chronic pain, traumatic brain injury, compassion fatigue and suicidality, where he can now serve his law enforcement and veteran communities.

  • Dr. Alan Acre, Psy.D., PTSD Clinic Coordinator, Institutes of Health

    Dr. Acre. I currently lead the occupational health PTSD clinic at IOH. Prior to my career in clinical psychology, I served in the U.S. Army. My Army enlistment started in 1999 as a combat medic stationed at Ft. Gordan, GA, followed by an assignment with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea. As an enlisted soldier I completed the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) course prior to accepting a commission as an army officer. I was commissioned as a transportation officer and was assigned to support the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea. While serving in Korea I was selected to serve as an intelligence officer (S-2) on battalion staff. Following my second tour in Korea, I became a combat advisor, special teams’ member, for the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq. In Iraq I served on an Iraqi National Police Transition Team (NIPTT) located at FOB Benevolence “Green Zone,” Baghdad, Iraq. I also served on an Iraqi Military transition Team (MITT) located at Cp. Victory, Baghdad, Iraq. During my combat deployments I conducted numerous counter insurgency (COIN) missions with only a twelve-man team and Iraqi forces. Several of these missions resulted in direct combat engagements and or the capture of enemy insurgents. My final assignment in the army was at the National Training Center (NTC) in Ft. Irwin, CA. While stationed at NTC I served as a cavalry officer and completed the scout leader (Recon) course prior to receiving an honorable discharge. As a commissioned officer I also attended the airborne and pathfinder schools at Ft. Benning, GA, and I was awarded the combat action badge and combat cavalry spurs.

    My time in the military and serving in Iraq introduced me to the severe effects trauma has on strong, stable, healthy individuals and their families. The experience of losing friends to mortars, IED attacks, small arms fire, suicide, and the reckless behaviors associated with PTSD, redefined and strengthened my passion to help those that were suffering from trauma, so that they could heal and become stronger than they were prior to enduring their trauma. I trained at the Harlingen, TX VA medical center with experts in PTSD, suicide prevention, substance use, and outpatient general mental health. The Harlingen VA hospital predominantly provided services to Hispanic Veterans of lower SES status. Working with this population provided the opportunity to train with culturally sensitive assessments and treatments within a minority population similar to the minority population largely found among first responders and veterans in California. Additionally, I trained at Veteran’s Village San Diego (VVSD) for several years, where I performed trauma treatments and trauma testing for our nation’s veterans. I am also a former chief investigator (CI) at the Veterans & Trauma Intensive Outpatient Program research assistantship (RA). I developed studies to calculate reduction rates of PTSD symptoms of those treated in Intensive Outpatient Programs, and our ability to evoke posttraumatic growth in civilians, first responders, and veterans.

  • Dr. Clark Smith, M.D., DFAPA Medical Director, Institutes of Health

    Dr. Clark Smith, is Medical Director of Institutes of Health. Dr. Smith was founding Medical Director of San Diego's largest Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital, Sharp McDonald Center/Vista Pacifica, from 1989 to 2012. He is board certified in Pain Management, Addictions and Forensic Psychiatry. Dr. Smith completed an Internal Medicine internship and worked as an emergency medicine physician while completing specialty training in Psychiatry. He was Chief Resident at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center, Chief of Staff at Mesa Vista Hospital, and then UC San Diego. Dr. Smith is former president of the San Diego Psychiatric Society, the San Diego Psych-Law Society, and was an Adjunct Professor in Forensic Studies at Alliant University in San Diego.

  • Dr. Kimberely Tilley, PsyD., Clinical Administrator, Institutes of Health

    As Clinical Administrator overseeing the needs of all stakeholders in the management of occupational injuries, Dr. Tilley brings years of expertise as a Primary and Secondary Treating Physician, a Qualified Medical Examiner, involvement in Utilization Review, a VA Research Associate, programs coordinator, and adjunct professor covering such areas as psychopharmacology, Alcohol & Substance Abuse, and various types of addictions, treatments, and recovery. As a clinical administrator in occupational medicine, she extends her expertise to improving clinical outcomes and accelerating MMI via the application of evidence-based interdisciplinary care to reversing the trajectory of epidemic conditions in the work comp space ranging from chronic pain and delayed recovery, disability, brain injuries, PTSD and prescription drug abuse.

April 27, 2021
Tue 11:30 AM PDT

Duration 0H 45M

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