In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Robyn talk with Molly Jones; Clinical Educations Coordinator, and Hannah Elmore, MSW of Advanced Recovery Systems (ASR) on the recovery programs for first responders.
IAFF Center of Excellence
ASR, in partnership with IAFF, opened the IAFF Center of Excellence facilities for active and retired firefighters struggling with mental health. While the facilities specialize in PTSD for professional fire service members who struggle with trauma, substance use, addiction and other related behavioral health challenges, treatment will vary depending on the severity of the symptoms that the first responder is presenting.
First Responder Fortitude Program
The Fortitude program is ASR’s newest program that allows first responders, regardless of the uniform they put on, to seek help along with other first responders. This also includes non-union/volunteer firefighters.
Transitioning after discharge for treatment is as important as the treatment itself. Family outreach assures that they are prepared when the first responder comes home. The department plays a huge role in the success of a firefighters return to work. One of the most valuable ways they can help make this more comfortable for the entire crew is to set up a peer support point person. Having those buddy checks will foster continued healing in the real-world. Once we understand we are not alone, we start to see that we have support. Providing the tools for the family on both sides of the job will help to normalize mental wellness.