Schmell, Tanya
Peer Support and Resiliency

The health and wellness of law enforcement includes understanding the effects of stress on their physical and mental health. Learning how to build resiliency, utilize adaptive coping skills and peer support can assist in processing the stress effects of the job. We will also learn about the impact and importance of resources and identify support and mental health resources.

Tanya Schmell - Bio
Tanya is a native of Des Moines, Iowa but retired to Montana. She retired from the West Des Moines Police Department as a Patrol Sergeant. Over 20 years in law enforcement, she was assigned to the Patrol Division, Bike Patrol, Special Operations Division, Crime Prevention/Community Relations and the Criminal Investigations Unit. Tanya has been involved in many aspects of the police department, including fifteen years as a negotiator and Team Leader with the Special Emergency Response Team. She has been a liaison with the Mobile Crisis Response Team developing and maintaining relationships with individuals with mental health issues. She has assisted in developing programs and legislation throughout the years and received numerous awards for her service within her profession. Tanya has developed and implemented numerous training programs for organizations, civic groups, schools, and first responder agencies. Tanya also volunteered as a critical incident stress management team member. In 2002, on the first anniversary of 9-11 she volunteered in New York City to provide peer support services to the members of the New York City Police Department. Today, she volunteers in providing peer support and critical incident stress management services to first responders. Since 2009, Tanya has worked extensively with returning combat veterans and law enforcement agencies throughout the world in topics related to critical incident, combat and police stress, police/veteran suicide, peer support and encountering individuals with mental health issues. Tanya has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Iowa State University and her Master's degree in Public Administration from Drake University. She has provided extensive training in the fields of peer support, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), stress, resiliency and transitioning veterans. Tanya utilizes her personal experiences of stress within the police environment to help develop resiliency strategies in her trainings. Over the last few years, she has developed a mid-level management course for the Saudi Arabian police and provided resiliency/peer support trainings in 17 states, Germany, Japan, South Korea and El Salvador.