Save the date for ‘Saving Those Who Save Others’

by | July 27, 2018 2:13 pm

   The Statesboro Fire Department has been awarded a grant from the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance to help combat the rise in mental health incidents associated with emergency first responders. This grant will bring the FBHA’s 4-hour workshop “Saving Those Who Save Others” to Statesboro, and will be open to area emergency first responders at no cost.
   “Saving Those Who Save Others” is open to area first responders and mental health professionals only; and will be held Friday, October 12, 2018 at the East Georgia State College’s Statesboro campus from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., with a lunch break included. Registration is free and will be open for the first 180 individuals. To RSVP a spot in the workshop, please email merritt.kearns@statesboroga.gov.
   Critical data research shows that firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, and other first responders all suffer from mental health issues at a rate 6 to 10 times higher than that of the general population. In fact, more firefighters commit suicide every year than there are line-of-duty-deaths. Similarly, one law enforcement officer commits suicide every 81 hours, or 11 per month. For every first responder suicide, it is estimated that 1,000 first responders continue to work while suffering the painful symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
   While first responders face a greater than average rate of suffering from traumatic mental health issues, the good news is that research shows individuals fare much better when their departments provide behavioral health resources and a peer-support network.  This workshop is the first step in developing and implementing a peer-support program at the Statesboro Fire Department and any other participating department, so that personnel have the help they need to stay mentally safe and healthy. 
   “FBHA’s goal is to provide behavioral health workshops to fire departments and EMS organizations across the globe, focusing on behavioral health awareness with a strong drive towards suicide prevention and promoting resources available to firefighters/EMS and their families,” said  Jeff Dill, FBHA’s founder and Captain (Ret.) Palatine Rural Fire Protection District.
   For more information regarding the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance, please see their website at www.ffbha.org.

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