First Responders, this is where you start getting control back
First responders are often the last to seek help, but are in one of the most stressful career paths.
The following three part webinar can also be found at my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChXt4LUFGKYBtz8g492CT5w and not only helps you understand that you are first and foremost NORMAL with the feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, irritability and more that occur due to the daily accumulation of what you see, hear, and handle every day, and secondly to give you some tools to deal with these feelings so you feel better without necessarily having to go to therapy.
You dedicate your lives to saving others, not yourselves. Let this page bring you together
Police, fire-fighters, EMTs, Paramedics, 911 dispatchers…thank you for your service!
On this page, you will find links to helpful articles, websites and more to learn you are not alone in what you are going through. This page brings first responders together through shared experience. You will find resources for self-help as well as professional help. This page is constantly being updated, so please bookmark the page and come back regularly.
As a First responder, many of you are reluctant to seek mental health treatment. Police, fire-fighters, EMTs, paramedics, and 911 dispatchers all feel the pressure to stay strong and not appear weak or unable to do your job. You come to the public in times of crisis. You see and feel human suffering at its worst. Living your calling as a first responder will have an impact on you.
As you landed here, you are likely feeling emotions that invade all aspects of your life: sleep is impacted, feeling like your mind is no longer yours, superimposing loved ones onto the calls you’ve been on; being afraid your life is over. Other symptoms may include angry outbursts, headaches, noticing your children’s behavior changes, avoiding time with loved ones, or difficulty communicating with your significant other. Trust in others may have been lost, and loved ones may have told you you’ve changed. You are not alone.
Many police, fire fighters, EMTs, paramedics and 911 dispatchers have been where you are, are currently where you are, or will be where you are. You will get through this. You will survive this and come out stronger for it. Therapy, (or psychotherapy, or counseling) can give you your life back.
If you are on the fence about therapy, here are the benefits of therapy with me:
- It is confidential and solution-focused.
- You can be seen in the comfort of your own home through HIPAA compliant on-line counseling, which is legal AND ethical.
- As I specialize in the unique culture of first responders, you will not be judged as weak or a failure.
- You will regain control of yourself, your mind, your emotions, and your life
If you believe you have no time, remember this: if you don’t take care of it now, it will take care of you later. Sooner or later, the symptoms will become unbearable and your entire life will be forever affected.
Don’t put off contacting me any longer. I offer in-person psychotherapy in Tampa, Florida, Bradenton, FL, and Waterford, Connecticut, as well as on-line counseling across the states of Florida and Connecticut. The initial call is the hardest part and I know you have a ton of strength. Head on over to my Contact page to make the initial contact with me now.
Statements from first responders who have battled and survived PTSD
“Living with PTSD is a daily battle. Some days are good, some not so good. Triggers are a daily occurrence. I am proof that you can survive this with proper treatment. My book “When the Laughter Dies” was written by me, in my own words about my PTSD and how I deal with it as a First Responder.” – Paul
“You are not alone. Talk about the trauma, how you think and feel. Keep moving forward, no matter what. Don’t shut your family out and don’t forget, it’s not what is wrong with you but rather what happened to you. Somethings are worth fighting for and you’re one of them! We can’t stand to lose one more responder to PTSD or suicide.” – Matt Carlson, LPC, LAC, PhD Candidate, Co-Founder/Regional Director of Building Warriors
Links to articles
Links to helpful websites
IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery – Exclusively for IAFF members
American Addiction Centers’ specialty in substance use rehabilitation for first responders and military
Drug Rehab’s specialty in substance use rehabilitation for firefighters with PTSD
“Building Warriors through calm, clear peace of mind, body and heart”
First Responder Support Network
Drug Rehab’s valuable information for firefighters and addiction
Drug Rehab’s valuable information on Police and Addiction
Police PTSD stress disorder resource center
First Responder Drug and Alcohol Treatment Resource (Recovery Village)