By Aventura Commissioner Gladys Mezrahi
As we go through every day in this unprecedented time, we know that our Aventura Police Department is doing everything possible to keep us safe. That feeling of safety is unique for each one. Coming from Colombia, many times I experienced the awful feeling of being unsafe, so for me this becomes personal.
With months of living through a pandemic, police are on high alert for those who want to disturb our safety. With the economic downturn, thieves are looking for more opportunities, and thanks to our Aventura Police Department, they are being kept at bay. That led me to thinking about how our community can help keep our police safe, and what tools we can provide for them.
Thanks to our business community the Aventura-based ARI Financial Group, through its philanthropic arm ARI Financial Foundation, we were able to announce a donation to sponsor Aventura Police officers through the Pathwaves’ NeuroEmpowerment™ program to help them with readiness, performance and resilience in every area of function – mentally, emotionally and physically.
Present at the event were Eric Bouskila, President of ARI Financial Group, G. Cole, Founder and CEO of Pathwaves, Police Chief Bryan Pegues and myself.
“As a CEO of ARI Financial Group, I always teach my clients ‘protection fist’” said Eric Bouskila as he presented the donation. “For me, the first line of protection is the police. The police needs to have the tools to deal with stressful situations, and we can do this through the partnership with the incredible methodology that Pathwaves provides.”
A fitting initiative to start during September, known as National Suicide Prevention Month and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic during which time the number of mental health cases have increased. The donation will run for three months and will help six officers.
“Suicide Prevention Month is an important time to create awareness about the fact that we can all use support in improving how we handle what is happening around us” said G. Cole, Founder and CEO of Pathwaves. “Our NeuroEmpowerment™ program is a unique methodology that combines integrative neurofeedback and coaching, providing long-term sustainable mental health improvements, and relief from disorders. It will enable each first responder to be at their highest mental aptitude and equip them with the tools and mental fortitude to adapt as they progress through their life and professional career.”
According to Chief Pegues, mental wellness and resiliency is not something that they could talk about five years ago. He spoke of his gratefulness for the community coming together to take care of the police officers who love taking care of them. The Chief said, “I hope this is a breakthrough moment for the first responders who need help,” He then continued saying that he hopes “this is a breakthrough moment for the First Responders who need help, who need resiliency and performance enhancement to deal with the decades and decades of stress that have accumulated over their careers.”
The hope is that other organizations will consider sponsoring more first responders to go through this program that will ultimately help the community as a whole.