The Firefighters Support Foundation’s (FSF) newest free training program is a three-video set on three topics of mental health for first responders. The training videos in this program are: Helping First Responders, their Colleagues, and their Families Prepare for and Deal with a Line of Duty Death, When a Child Dies on a Call, and When to Seek Therapy.
Helping First Responders, their Colleagues, and their Families Prepare for and Deal with a Line of Duty Death is a 50-minute video program presented by Dr. Ellen Kirschman, one of the best-known first responder psychologists in the nation (and author of I love a Firefighter and I Love a Cop). In this program Dr. Kirschman answers the following questions: How is the death of a first responder different?, What can families do to prepare for a LODD?, How is it different to lose a first responder parent?, What is the grieving process?. What makes it worse for a first responder’s family?, What advice do you have for the family regarding media coverage?, How should a family deal with the ongoing aftermath?, Should the family allow footage of the incident to be used as a training film?, Should the family listen to the last radio transmission of the deceased?, How should the family prepare for LODD anniversaries?, How much help should colleagues offer? What advice do you have for management?, What about unhappy or separated families?, and others.
When a Child Dies on a Call is a 20-minute program presented by Dr. Anne Bisek, a psychologist practicing in Fremont, California. Dr. Bisek is the mental health professional on the San Mateo CISD team and provides debriefings for the California Highway Patrol. In this program Dr. Bisek addresses the following areas: How is the death of a child so different?, What happens to first responders when a child dies on a call?, Why do different responders react differently to the death of a child?, How can a first responder identify with the victim, someone else on the scene or even the perpetrator? What are the unhealthy ways to respond to a child’s death?, What are some productive things to do?, Is there something wrong with not feeling affected?, Can we prepare for such a call?, How long do the effects last?, and more.
When to Seek Therapy is a 30-minute presentation by Dr. Bisek and it covers in depth this subject. Most public safety professionals have been given very little information on this subject beyond possibly a brochure at one time. In this program Dr. Bisek discusses: How do we know when it’s time to see a professional?, What is therapy?, How do I find a therapist that is appropriate for me?, Does the therapist need to be a (or a former) public safety professional?, What kinds of therapies are available?, Is it always PTSD that first responders suffer from?, Should I talk to colleagues?, How can I make it worse for myself?, Does therapy work?, and more.
Like all FSF programs, these programs are free to all public safety professionals. Simply go to www.ffsupport.org to download your copy.
The Firefighters Support Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization dedicated to assisting firefighters and rescue personnel perform their jobs effectively and safely. We also set aside a portion of our funds to aid underfunded agencies and assist families of fallen firefighters.