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Free Psychological Wellness Resources for Fire Departments

Posted: July 29, 2021

Through the National Volunteer Fire Council's (NVFC) Share the Load program, emergency responders have the psychological wellness resources they need at their fingertips.

Emergency responders face a variety of physical and behavioral health challenges every day. Taking care of your body and mind is crucial in ensuring you're ready to respond to the next emergency.

The NVFC provides free tools and resources to help fire and emergency medical services departments foster a safety culture and support the mental and physical health of their members. The organization is highlighting 2 resources this month from the Psychologically Healthy Fire Departments initiative, part of the Share the Load program for firefighters and EMS providers.

Psychologically Healthy Fire Departments: Implementation Toolkit

The Implementation Toolkit PDF covers 6 key categories for psychological health and wellness:

  • Member involvement.
  • Health and safety.
  • Member growth and development.
  • Work-life balance.
  • Member recognition.
  • Effective communication.

Each category examines specific actions, special issues to consider, case studies from successful departments and additional resources. The NVFC plans to offer training for fire service leaders on the Implementation Toolkit soon.

Directory of Behavioral Health Professionals

The NVFC also maintains a directory of behavioral health professionals PDF, vetted as either having firsthand experience with the fire and emergency services or have completed a training course through the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance to educate them on the fire service and the specific challenges they face. In addition to licensed healthcare professionals, the directory also includes other resources for assistance such as chaplains and peer support specialists.

The Directory of Behavioral Health Professionals is organized by state with a mapping tool to help users quickly and easily locate a provider in their local area. This directory is updated monthly as more providers are added.

The NVFC provides these resources in partnership with the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance, American Psychological Association, and support from a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

This article is based on content in the
July 29, 2021 InfoGram.

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