Mills, Sara
Proactive Training for Officer Safety, Wellness, and Performance

Post-traumatic stress among emergency personnel is rising, with an average of one police officer suicide every 18 hours. It is estimated over 25 percent of police officers have stress-based physical health problems and 40 percent suffer from sleep disorders. Can we change these devastating statistics? Mindfulness practices such as yoga have shown to strengthen neurological and mental self-regulation, build resiliency, and increase physical stability and mobility. In this presentation, Olivia Mead of Yoga for First Responders will introduce a sustainable skill set for optimal functioning of one’s mind, body, nervous system and morale. The result of a consistent practice of YFFR protocol will lead to better performance and stress inoculation, and an increase in mindful responses to interpersonal communication versus emotional reactions.

Sara Mills - Bio
Sara Mills was a first responder for 18 years, spending time as both a dispatcher and a police officer, before having to take a medical retirement in 2020. She has been practicing yoga since 2004, is a 200 Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). Sara became interested in Yoga for First Responders (YFFR) in 2017 after hearing the benefits to first responders. In 2017, Sara attended Level 1 Instructor School, Class 005, in Des Moines and began teaching YFFR for her department shortly thereafter. She went on to complete her Level 2 training in Chicago in 2018, which is also where she also joined the Instructor Team as a Squad Leader. Since that time, Sara has moved into the role of Chief Training Officer, which helps coordinate and facilitate Instructor Schools nationwide, in addition to being a Squad Leader.