The Behavioral Health section of the Wellness Center is focused on promoting and preserving mental and emotional well-being. We have a range of no-cost services available to you and your family, including mental health counseling, Peer Support, & Chaplaincy. This Behavioral Health section of the website will provide you with information and resources to help you maintain optimal mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Please don't hesitate to reach out to any of us. We welcome you!
Emotions are often triggered unexpectedly. What happens in the next few seconds following a trigger determines the difference between whether an individual will react or respond. A reaction typically provokes more reactions that seem to have no end.
Over time, exposure to danger, chaos and tragedy can cause stress which takes a toll on first responders’ mental and physical health.
First Responder Resiliency:Smashing the Stigma. Full length documentary.
You can view it at smashingthestigma.com.
First Responder Resilience:Smashing the Stigma. A documentary by Tania Glenn.
Dr. Ebony Butler is a new addition to the City of Austin family. She is a staff psychologist servicing the brave and courageous men and women of AFD/ATCEMS. Dr. Butler is a native of Jackson, MS and has a passion for working with our nation’s best heroes. She began training with the various VA medical centers in 2009 until working as a full-time staff psychologist with the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Healthcare System from 2014-2016. Dr. Butler proudly comes to the AFD/ATCEMS team with a passion and eagerness to continue assisting heroes who selfishly serve the citizens of their own communities. With a background in interpersonal trauma, trauma recovery, emotions management, and crisis management, Dr. Butler is excited to be a resource and source of confidence for the men and women of AFD/ATCEMS. Dr. Butler is sometimes a “foodie” and loves to occasionally try local eateries (she’s actually accumulating a list, so if you know of any good spots, tell her!). She is gaining a love for outdoor running/hiking (when it’s not too hot) and is happy to settle in to Austin with her partner and their two dogs, Jax and Cali. Dr. Butler is available for consultation and therapy.
Dr. Marc Kruse is the Staff Psychologist for AFD and Austin-Travis County EMS and an Assistant Professor (Research) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Texas A&M Health Science Center. Dr. Kruse is a licensed clinical psychologist who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining AFD/ATCEMS, Marc worked at the Central Texas VA Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans. Dr. Kruse has also conducted clinical research on firefighters and first-responders from across the country. He lives in Georgetown with his wife and two children.