First H.E.L.P. March Newsletter

by Mar 21, 2023Newsletters

A word from our Chief Operating Officer…


Hello and welcome to the newest edition of the First H.E.L.P. newsletter. 

We have great content this month, so I hope you enjoy it. I want to take a moment to welcome all the new families joining our tribe. I know you did not ask to be here; I’m sure it’s the last place you want to be; however, you will find strength and healing here. The relationships built within our organization will last you a lifetime; you will find friends in individuals that help you make it through the most challenging days, and understand what growth is all about. Make no mistake, this journey will not be easy, but you will find plenty of people from all walks of life to help you through the pain. Remember that you’re not alone and have an army of people just waiting to help you.

Now let’s talk about the newsletter! We moved it to the website as a central repository for all previous and future newsletters. This should give the subscriber a better reading experience in a more streamlined format. I hope you will see our growth as an organization and your growth as an individual within the newsletters. Please moment and recognize the good that many people are doing to push our mission forward, to push your mission forward. Lastly, I want to thank Journey, our program administrator, for making this happen. Thank you, Journey!

“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance”. – Jodi Picoult


2023 Annual Family Weekend & Honor Dinner

The First H.E.L.P. Annual Family Weekend and Honor Dinner is just six months away!

This year, we will host more families than ever before on an all-inclusive trip to the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center to offer connection, healing, and support. These families will come together to honor their loved ones in a space where others around them understand and have experienced the same loss.


While we continue to plan the events of this weekend, we are seeking sponsors to help cover the cost.

Click the link below to check out our variety of sponsorship levels and opportunities!


Want to be a Sponsor?

First H.E.L.P. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that relies on donations, sponsorships, and grants to continue supporting our first responders and their families.

By sponsoring the Annual Family Weekend and Honor Dinner you are helping us provide free lodging, travel, meals, gifts, and a safe space for these families to connect with each other. This year, we received attendance requests from over 110 families; our biggest year yet!

Please join us as we create memories with them; help us bring them together!


Check out our upcoming events!

 What we’ve been up to!

1st Responder Conference – Orlando, FL

Our very own Chief Operating Officer Steve Hough had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the 2023 kickoff conference in Orlando, FL.

First responder professionals from across the United States attended the event where numerous presenters discussed a wide variety of topics from finance to mental fitness.  This two-day event brought together those who take their well-being seriously and want to hone skills they can take back to their respective agencies.

1st Responder Conference – Coeur d’Alene, ID

Thank you to First Responder Conferences for once again putting on a successful health and wellness conference.

With 300 plus in attendance, First H.E.L.P. Training Coordinator, Michael Marotta, was invited to discuss how responders can build healthy families by shifting their mindset and practicing resiliency skills.


Illinois Police Accreditation Coalition

Christy Lister, one of our volunteers, was asked to speak to the Illinois Police Accreditation Coalition (I-PAC).

I-PAC is made up of 50 police departments around Midwest Illinois. The opportunity to engage in conversation both in person and virtually was an honor and a privilege. This outreach to so many departments in one setting provided an opportunity to show that with the right tools, we can make a difference, one conversation at a time.


Christy  was able to present on the effects stressors have on the individual and family while providing insight to what each one of us can do to lessen the effects of occupational stress.  We thank Christy for her dedication to the mission of First H.E.L.P. !


IACP – Officer Safety and Wellness Symposium

Our president, Karen Solomon, had the opportunity to attend the IACP Officer Safety & Wellness Symposium in Anaheim, California.

Here you can read a blog post by Karen as she reflects on her time at IACP – OSWS and her time as a leader in our organization for the last seven years. 


#ResponderReadiness Workshops

Please submit a first responder via the appropriate website below

By submitting an first responder to our site, you are giving them a placeholder on the Honor Wall until their family is ready to put up a memorial. You are also assisting us as we collect information that helps to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with suicide.

911 Communicators




Sharing your story on the Honor Wall


We understand that there is still a stigma attached to suicide, and that’s why every first responder submitted to us is kept confidential in our database unless their family decides they would like to share their story publicly.

We think it is important to honor our first responders no matter how they died.  If you would like to share the name, photo, and memorial for your first responder on the Honor Wall, please reach out to [email protected].

Did you know we have a Podcast?

New Episodes Every Wednesday

A podcast that brings first responders, families, and mindset together for serious and humorous conversations on mental health.

Have you checked out our apparel?

Freedom Fatigues is a Veteran/LEO-owned and operated, patriotic, family-run company with a love for our country and a desire to serve, give back to and support our fellow citizens. They are proud to partner with First H.E.L.P. to reduce the stigma of mental health. Through our partnership, we also advocate for benefits for those with PTSD and acknowledge the service and sacrifice of first responders who have been lost to suicide. We also support the families of those first responders and bring awareness to first responders’ mental health issues.

National First Responder Suicide Awareness Days

September 27th


September 24th


September 26th


September 25th