peer support

Licensed Resources (Texas)

Alamo Heights Counseling

A small private practice serving the greater San Antonio area. They have experience working with both first responders and members of the military. One or more of their mental health professionals are trained in trauma and EMDR. EMDR is a therapy technique that can be very beneficial in some people with PTSD or other issues stemming from trauma.

Website: alamoheightscounseling.com/
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Benefits of Peer Support

When first responders develop symptoms of depression or begin to struggle with addiction or thoughts of suicide, their first inclination is often just to “suck it up” and keep going. Their primary focus is helping others, so when they are the ones who need help, they may not feel there is anywhere for them to go.

Peer Support

Peer Support is a program consisting of members who are trained to identify various symptoms and challenges, and to aid their fellow brothers and sisters in public safety by providing emotional support in a time of need. In general, peer support are those individuals who have like experiences, can better relate, and consequently, offer greater empathy and validation.

Fire Chaplains Integral Part of Response Team

The fire service is good at many things. When people dial 911, we respond rapidly, employ expert tactics that extinguish fires, rescue trapped occupants, and salvage personal belongings. We provide emergency medical care and, in some cases, ambulance transport for victims who are critically ill and injured. We are good at providing patient care. We are experts at bringing the emergency room procedures to the streets and living rooms of our communities. We are about serving those who are in need.

Managing Grief

Grief can be defined as a deep sorrow, especially caused by someone’s death or the loss of someone or something. Grief can be experienced in a number of situations including the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage, breakups, ending of friendships, loss of property due to disaster, loss of personal items, and loss of personal integrity/physical violence or assault.

PTSD amongst First Responders - A Personal Story

It is not abnormal to feel impacted by the things that you see in your line of work. In fact, it is absolutely normal to be impacted in some way by many of the things you encounter. Here is one first responder's experience with his work, experiences, and his realization that he was suffering with PTSD.

http://www.npr.org/2010/12/30/132476507/first-responders-rescuers-face-p...

Suicide

Overview

Suicide is often the reaction to stressful life events and/or emotions. Suicide may be considered by people who are seeking ways to cope with or rid themselves of intense, negative thoughts, emotions, and/or pain.

What You Should Know

Suicide can be prevented. If you or someone you know are considering suicide, there are steps you can take to stay safe and keep others safe. you can begin to enjoy your life again.

Anyone, no matter how minimal or significant your problems, can get treatment & support at any time.

Selection Criteria

  • Willingness to share a personal experience of exposure to a potentially traumatic event that resulted in strong reactions. Were you able to overcome/recover from the effects of the event? What did you do to resolve the reactions? 
  • Life experience: jobs, professions, or participation in organizations in the past that would provide value as a peer support member.
  • Willingness to be on call and respond to potentially traumatic events.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality…is trustworthy 
  • Caring and compassionate

Role of a Fire Chaplain

Fire Chaplains are non-denominational and provide faith based aid, comfort, counsel and help to our members of the Fire Department, both civilian and sworn, and their families. Fire Chaplains are available to help our members and their families when they are facing some type of tragedy or difficulty in their personal or professional lives. Fire Chaplains are counselors who may be approached in confidence and must hold information provided to them in confidence

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