First responders experience unique challenges, both on and off the job, and it can be difficult to identify signs that one of our front–line heroes may be in need, even for their closest colleagues. Every day, first responders are equipped with tangible gear needed to protect themselves from the physical risks of the job; in the same way, they must be prepared with the knowledge and ability to support their colleagues who may be experiencing emotional distress.
This is where peer support comes into play. By equipping our first responders with the tools they need to identify signs of stress in their peers and effectively “start the conversation” when needed, we’re able to support the creation of a community of powerful, empathic teams that are ready to provide approachable, accessible support, right “at home.”.
Through this training, first responders can learn how to recognize “stress injuries” and evaluate the mental health of their peers, offer peer-level support and effectively coordinate necessary follow–up in the event professional intervention is warranted.
UCF RESTORES is proud to deliver and advocate for programming that supports the goal of effectively training first responders in peer support and equipping therapists with the cultural competency skills needed to successfully treat the first responder community.