Firefighters and EMS personnel routinely witness horrific events that ordinary people don’t. These experiences can lead to mental health issues, including PTSD and depression—even suicide. Here you can view the latest findings, policies and procedures that can help first responders and their leaders recognize behavioral health problems and take action before they put themselves and those around them at risk. Recognizing emerging or existing mental health issues is critical to keeping first responders safe.
Here you can learn the latest about behavioral health concerns that are unique to first responders. From articles and reports to presentations and more, you’ll come away with a better understanding of incident stress factors, as well as psychological and emotional problems. You’ll learn how they can arise, how they can be recognized and addressed earlier, and how to return first responders to their jobs afterwards with confidence.
A critical finding from the 2020 Behavioral Health Symposium was an increasing appreciation of the need to create behavioral health programs at the department level, but few really understand the basics of what is needed to make one work. Building on FRCE’s widely disseminated Stress First Aid program, we have created online materials to provide fire departments basic guidance, or roadmap, on the what’s and whys of basic programs that can be developed and adopted by departments of any size or budget.
THE LEADING GLOBAL MEN’S HEALTH CHARITY IS FUNDING PROJECTS WHICH WILL GO TO SUPPORT THE MENTAL HEALTH OF FIRST RESPONDERS
Movember has announced it is funding two new programs that go to support first responders in the US. The $6.2 million global initiative in support of veterans and first responders, as well as their families, is a collaboration between Movember and The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. There is growing evidence that first responders [firefighters, paramedics, and police officers] and military veterans are at increased risk of poor mental health and suicide.
Although many programs that aim to support these groups already exist, a 2019 report commissioned by Movember and conducted by men’s health researcher Dr. Don McCreary, found a lack of publicly available evidence showing the effectiveness of such programs.
Based on the report, Movember launched the Veterans and First Responders Mental Health Grant Program in September 2020, with the aim of identifying promising mental health or suicide prevention programs and collaborating with those projects to demonstrate their effectiveness through rigorous program evaluation.
“Our first responders are on the front lines each day and we owe so much to them. Through this initiative, Movember wants to help our grant funding partners prove that their programs are positively impacting mental health outcomes. We want to build programs that continue to help these men live healthier and longer lives,” Greg Oliva, Community Development Manager for Movember.
To date, Movember has welcomed six million supporters and helped fund 1,250 innovative health projects across 20 countries.
“We are extremely excited and thankful for the opportunity to expand behavioral health opportunities for first responders through this grant. With the support of Movember we will be able to further address the complex network of stresses, strains, and coping mechanisms faced by these occupations”, stated the First Responder Center for Excellence’s Managing Director, Ed Klima. The project will seek to develop and implement more accessible digital tools in identifying and addressing suicidal ideation and provide psychological peer support, including actions designed to promote self-care and co-worker support. Final US First Responders 2021 Funding MM – 11.8.2021.
The First-Responder Challenge is for all Mo’s working in emergency response – EMS personnel, firefighters, lifeguards and police officers. Check out Movember First-Responder Challenge.