July 6, 2023

Read on for context on the launch of Blueline Rescue; to view the supporting News 13 story, scroll to the bottom of this page.

At UCF RESTORES, we’re proud to lead mental wellness research, treatment, and support efforts for first responders, both in Florida and across the United States. We know that first responders face unique challenges – including exposure to trauma, long hours, and the risk of injury or death. We also know that these challenges can take a real toll on one’s mental health.

A recent update by the Ruderman Foundation confirmed its long-standing and tragic finding that more first responders die by suicide than in the line of duty each year.

In our continued efforts to help overturn this statistic, we’re pleased to announce the forthcoming launch of Blueline Rescue – a first-of-its-kind, no-cost, confidential peer support app designed exclusively for law enforcement officers. Blueline Rescue provides law enforcement personnel immediate access to peers who have participated in our proven REACT peer support training program, as well as licensed mental health clinicians trained in cultural competency by our law enforcement-specific Clinician Awareness Program.

“Blueline Rescue is an integral piece of the puzzle when it comes to UCF RESTORES’ 360-degree approach to first responder mental wellness. By ensuring that effective, no-cost training is available to both peers and clinicians across the state – and then connecting these trained groups with in-need officers in real time – we’re making strides on providing Florida’s first responders with the evidence-based resources they deserve.” UCF RESTORES Executive Director Deborah Beidel, Ph.D, ABPP, commenting on the launch of Blueline Rescue

Blueline Rescue is based on the successful Redline Rescue platform, which has been used by thousands of first responders across the state since its launch in 2021. Redline Rescue connects first responders to trained peer support personnel and culturally competent clinicians who can assist the responder in reducing stress and anxiety, improving mental health, and increasing resilience.

With Blueline Rescue for law enforcement and Redline Rescue for fire service, Florida’s first responders can:

  • Access their designated, confidential platform on-the-go, directly from their mobile phone;
  • Review whiteboard-style videos designed to help with self-assessment of various challenges, as well as the severity of those challenges; and,
  • Be directly connected to trained peers – “matched” based on factors like rank, military service and life experience – and licensed, culturally competent mental health clinicians that are available in real-time.

To learn more about Blueline Rescue and the potential power of such a platform for law enforcement, check out the below feature from News 13. This story features:

  • UCF RESTORES Executive Director Deborah Beidel, Ph.D., ABPP, briefly speaking to the need for the center’s growing Clinician Awareness Program.
  • Redline Rescue Subject-Matter Expert / Indian River County Fire Rescue Lieutenant & Chaplain Dustin Hawkins speaking to the importance of culturally competent clinical support and his own personal experiences in the field before exploring how platforms like Redline Rescue and Blueline Rescue work to connect first responders in need.
  • UCF RESTORES Outreach Consultant and Ret. NYPD Officer Nancy Rosado, MSW, sharing her perspective on the unique challenges faced by law enforcement and the need for more comprehensive mental health and wellness solutions across the force.
YouTube video

If you are a law enforcement graduate of the REACT peer support program, enhance your impact today by signing up as a Blueline Rescue Peer Support Provider at BluelineRescue.org. If you are an active law enforcement officer interested in getting involved in peer support, learn more about our REACT training program here.

Thank you for supporting our charge to enhance the tools, resources and support available to Florida’s first responders. To learn more about how you can further your support of our mission to restore lives, families and communities, visit the UCF Foundation’s dedicated page for the College of Sciences.