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First Responder Wellness

Fire engine and two police cars at night with lights on

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First responders face an increased risk of experiencing behavioral health issues including mental illness and substance abuse disorders. Fear of being seen as weak or not up to the job of a first responder keeps many from seeking help. Responders can build their resilience by increasing awareness about risk factors and warning signs, talking with each other, and using healthy coping strategies.

      Programs      

Crisis Awareness

Provides first responder participants examples of physical and emotional signs that a co-worker, family member, friend or the employee themselves may be in crisis after a traumatic event. This course gives some possible signs and symptoms as well as techniques to help someone who may benefit from assistance. Issues discussed include; physical, cognitive and emotional responses to trauma, alcohol / drug issues, relationships, techniques and strategies for working through the effects of a traumatic incident.

"After the Call"

“After the Call” was created to provide commanders & administrators with ideas, concepts and techniques they might use to help themselves during a critical or traumatic incident. It’s important for officers to know that, just like the rest of their agency, they are having a normal reaction to an abnormal circumstance. It’s not only ok to ask for assistance, it will help ensure that they are able to provide the guidance and oversight to help their agency and personnel work through the aftermath to be stronger.

Self-Care

First responders focus on taking care of others, often at the expense of their own self-care. This course re-enforces the concepts of self-care and the importance for first responders in order to be able to better serve their agencies & communities.

QPR: Questions. Persuade. Refer.

There are very few incidents more devastating to an agency than the suicide of a member of that agency, sworn or civilian. In addition to many of the same effects as a line of duty or accidental death, the added issues of guilt, anger, helplessness only add to the traumatic effects felt by the surviving members of the agency. As a culture, first responders take on the unrealistic burden of being responsible for the actions of others or the first responders’ failure to anticipate those actions and provide answers and solutions.

The QPR awareness course provides tools and techniques to help first responders themselves, their co-workers or the public. QPR is applicable to first responders and civilians.

Retirement: Being a member of the Survivors' Club

Retirement can be a difficult transition for anyone. For First Responders, that transition can be even more so. This course talks about some of the changes first responders can expect, how to plan for these changes and minimize possible negative effects of becoming a civilian.

Ohio ASSIST

  • The Ohio ASSIST Post Critical Incident Seminars (PCIS) are a partnership between the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Ohio Mental Health & Addiction Services.
  • Ohio ASSIST PCIS is a three-day seminar for Ohio First Responders at no cost to the agency or the individual.
  • PCIS is best described as participant driven, peer facilitated, and clinician supported.
  • PCIS gives participants the opportunity to talk about their trauma and the effects it has had on them, their families, their agency and their communities.
  • Participants are given the opportunity to meet with clinicians, familiar with public safety in a one-on-one environment to discuss any issues or concerns they might have.
  • Participants meet in small groups to have conversations with other first responders who have been involved in similar incidents. This allows them to see that they are not alone in their issues and concerns and that they are having a normal reaction to an abnormal circumstance for them, right then.

      Resources      

Ohio Department of Public Safety / Office or Criminal Justice Services

614-466-4470

Ohio First Responders stand ready to protect, defend and provide life-saving services to the citizens of the State of Ohio, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Often, this can put them at risk, both physically and mentally. The Ohio Department of Public Safety / Office of Criminal Justice Services support all of Ohio’s 92,000+ Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS, Corrections and Dispatch personnel. As of July 1, 2021, Steven M. Click serves as the staff lead for First Responder Wellness.

Stclick@dps.ohio.gov

Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services

614-466-9938

Ohio’s first responders stand ready to protect, defend and provide life-saving services to our citizens, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, the often-dangerous nature of their work places them in constant risk, physically, mentally and emotionally.

OhioMHAS’ First Responder Liaison serves as a resource to first responders, their agencies, Ohio’s vast network of behavioral healthcare providers and the community at large and is available for trainings and information.

https://mha.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/mha/community-partners/first-responders/first-responders

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

800-662-HELP

First responders face an increased risk of experiencing behavioral health issues including mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Fear of being seen as weak or not up to the job of a first responder keeps many from seeking help. Responders can build their resilience by increasing awareness about risk factors and warning signs, talking with each other, and using healthy coping strategies.

https://www.samhsa.gov/dtac/disaster-responders

Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence

330-325-6670

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs across the country help direct persons with mental illness into treatment instead of inappropriate incarceration. The 40-hour training provides practical techniques for de-escalating crises. Officers learn to integrate their police training with some different approaches to a person they believe to have a mental disorder. Role playing is utilized to make the experience as close to reality as possible.

https://www.neomed.edu/cjccoe/cit/

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

800-273-8255

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Crisis Text Line

Text HELP 741741

Text from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor. Every texter is connected with a Crisis Counselor, a real-life human being trained to bring texters from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening and collaborative problem solving. All of Crisis Text Line's Crisis Counselors are volunteers, donating their time to helping people in crisis.

https://www.crisistextline.org/

Ohio ASSIST

614-752-7222

The Ohio ASSIST program hosts three-day, Post Critical Incident Seminars (PCIS) for first responders and their families. These seminars were developed in South Carolina in 2000 in a partnership with the FBI to help first responders cope with the aftermath of traumatic and critical incidents. During the three days, participants are given the chance to talk about their incident, discuss addiction and relationship issues, learn about fear and coping, and meet with clinicians with public safety experience. There is no charge to the participant or their agency and they are able to bring a support person at no charge.

https://www.dpsohioassist.ohio.gov/

The Bridge

614-271-4981

Supports all active and retired First Responders and their families, loved ones, or caregivers who are experiencing, or have experienced, any traumatic or life-altering event. The Bridge relates personal growth and healthy relationships with a multi-faceted approach in a safe and confidential environment.

https://firstrespondersbridge.org/

Critical Incident Response Service

800-367-6524

The Critical Incident Stress Management program, known as CISM, a multi-component crisis intervention curriculum, includes Pre-Incident Education, On scene or near scene management, One-on-One intervention, Demobilization, Crisis Management Briefing, Defusing, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD), Family Support, Community Crisis Response, Pastoral Crisis Intervention and Follow Up.

https://www.fopohio.org/

Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters

800-273-8255

The OAPFF Peer Support Team guide members who are struggling to resources which may be helpful in the path toward gaining assistance.

  • The OAPFF Peer Support Team consists of approximately 30 firefighters from all 5 Ohio districts who have been trained in providing emotional and mental health support to our union brother and sister firefighters in the state of Ohio. OAPFF Peer Supporters have all received the IAFF Peer Support Training.
  • The OAPFF Peer Support Team may provide assistance to both active and retired firefighters who may be experiencing behavioral health and/or addiction issues.
  • Peer Support Team Members act as a bridge to outside definitive behavioral health and/or addiction treatment. Peer Support Members are knowledgeable in local, regional, and state mental health resources.
  • Research shows that firefighters are more likely to accept treatment recommendations and assistance from peers.

https://www.firefightermentalhealth.org/

International Association of Fire Fighters Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery

240-414-0631

A one-of-a-kind addiction treatment facility specializing in PTSD for IAFF members – and IAFF members only – who are struggling with addiction, PTSD other related behavioral health challenges to receive the help they need in taking the first steps toward recovery

http://www.iaffrecoverycenter.com/

Fire Fighter Behavioral Health Alliance

847-209-8208

The mission of Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance is to collaborate, develop and implement behavioral health awareness, prevention, intervention, and post crisis strategies to provide firefighters with an easily accessible and confidential source of information.

http://www.ffbha.org/

Cop Line

800-267-5463

Is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving law enforcement officers and their families by providing 24/7 trained peer support for crisis intervention along with referrals to specifically skilled mental health professionals for follow up and continued assistance.

https://www.copline.org/

Blue H.E.L.P.

It is the mission of Blue H.E.L.P. to reduce mental health stigma through education, advocate for benefits for those suffering from post-traumatic stress, acknowledge the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers we lost to suicide, assist officers in their search for healing, and to bring awareness to suicide and mental health issues.

Blue H.E.L.P also serves as a resource for information and statistics related to the suicides by law enforcement personnel.

https://www.bluehelp.org/

Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)

614-446-0915

Each year, between 140 and 160 officers are killed in the line of duty and their families and co-workers are left to cope with the tragic loss. C.O.P.S. provides resources to help them rebuild their shattered lives. Today, C.O.P.S. membership is over 51,000 survivors. Survivors include spouses, children, parents, siblings, significant others, and co-workers of officers who have died in the line of duty according to Federal government criteria. C.O.P.S. knows that a survivor's level of distress is directly affected by the agency's response to the tragedy. C.O.P.S., therefore, offers training and assistance to law enforcement agencies nationwide on how to respond to the tragic loss of a member of the law enforcement profession. C.O.P.S. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. C.O.P.S. programs and services are funded by grants and donations.

https://www.concernsofpolicesurvivors.org/aboutcops

Ohio Preschool Expulsion Prevention

844-678-2227

Ohio First Responders stand ready to protect, defend and provide life-saving services to the citizens of the State of Ohio, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Often, this can put them at risk, both physically and mentally. The Ohio Department of Public Safety / Office of Criminal Justice Services support all of Ohio’s 92,000+ Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS, Corrections and Dispatch personnel. As of July 1, 2021, Steven M. Click serves as the staff lead for First Responder Wellness.

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/specialties/behavioral-health/for-providers/ohio-preschool-expulsion-prevention-partnership

Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities

614-224-1111

OACBHA is the trade association that represents the interests of Ohio’s Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health (ADAMH) Boards. ADAMH Boards serve as a resource to assist residents in finding affordable and quality alcohol, drug addiction, and mental health services within their communities. A Board directory can be accessed on OACBHA’s homepage, which includes contact information for Boards by county.

https://oacbha.org

The University of Cincinnati Stress Center

513-558-5872

The Stress Center at UC Health is dedicated to caring for families living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our goal is to decrease the negative impact of PTSD and help local families resume a healthy life. We want to ensure families have access to the resources and support they need to cope after a traumatic event.

The center brings together clinicians at UC Health, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center to optimize the understanding and treatment of traumatic stress and the degree to which clinical activities are coordinated, evaluated and disseminated.

We understand that PTSD not only affects the diagnosed individual, but his/her entire family as well. That is why our goal is provide an individualized, comprehensive treatment approach to ensure the entire family receives the care needed to resume and maintain a healthy life.

https://www.uchealth.com/stress-center/