District Welcomes Brazil’s Colonel Brandao

District Welcomes Brazil’s Colonel Brandao photo thumbnail131491

The district held an informative discussion on with Colonel Anselmo Brandao, general commander of the State of Bahia Police in Brazil, and discussed useful techniques in reducing stress and improving mental health. Attending the meeting was Freeport district administration, staff, members of the board of education, Colonel Brandao and his team of experts, and representatives from Nassau County and Freeport Village. Also at the meeting was Nassau County Police Department Assistant Commissioner Marianela Casas and Freeport Village Assistant Chief of Police Ray Horton.

Colonel Brandao met with the district after he spoke at the National Mental Health and Mental Fitness Summit in Denver. He has been commended for implementing a wellness program for 2,000 out of his 32,000 total officers that helps reduce stress and decrease the use of violence among his police officers. The goal is to properly manage mental health for the stressful job of police officers. Since its successful implementation, he has been sharing the program with others in law enforcement.

Colonel Brandao came to the district after meeting Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham during an International Consortium for Creating a Culture of Peace in Brazil in January. Dr. Kuncham spoke about the district’s YES (Youth Empowerment Seminar) program that has been implemented for students and staff for the past 10 years. The YES program, which has also demonstrated positive results, provides techniques for stress reduction including breathing techniques, mindfulness and social emotional learning. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham expressed his excitement in welcoming Colonel Brandao to the district. “Why we’re all here and why we take action is to improve things for our future leaders of America. The Commander is doing an extraordinary job having brought mental health and stress management programs to 2,000 police officers and now he’s working on introducing it into schools for students,” Dr. Kuncham said. “The International Consortium focuses on how we can all come together internationally because these programs are working, bringing tremendous changes and providing tools to adults and young people to be able to cope with the stressors that occur in our lives.”

During the meeting, attendees discussed the significance of practicing positive mental health awareness and provided feedback on ways to continue this in the future.