As those first on the scene to respond to disasters and emergency events, first responders prioritize the safety and well-being of the communities they serve. This often means first responders are facing dangerous and challenging situations, leading to high stress levels and possible development of burnout, compassion fatigue or unhealthy coping mechanisms.
The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently featured 2 behavioral health resources for first responders.
SAMHSA's Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC)
The DTAC administers a Responders Resource Portal that provides resources and training supporting the behavioral health of first responders in a wide variety of disciplines, including disaster management, law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services and others. These resources help responders with stress management, burnout, substance abuse, compassion fatigue and more.
Behavioral health podcast
The Center for the Applications of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT) Conversations podcast dedicated its entire first season, Behind the Frontline: Supporting the Families of Frontline Staff and First Responders, to first responders' behavioral health issues. The podcast provides educational tips, stress management techniques and ways to build resilience within the family.
See SAMHSA's email bulletin for a complete list of all featured resources for first responders' behavioral health.
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: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times