September is Suicide Prevention Month, and September 10 marks World Suicide Prevention Day. To help facilitate discussions at your department, the Fire College along with Alabama First Responder Peer Support would like to share some resources that might be helpful.
Alabama First Responder Peer Support exists to provide free, confidential peer support to firefighters, EMS professionals, and dispatchers. If you’d like to reach out, call 1(833)219-2461 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Community Education for Fire Fighters and First Responders Webinars: The IAFF Center of Excellence is committed to raising awareness and providing education about behavioral health matters that impact fire fighters, paramedics and dispatchers across the United States and Canada. Their community education webinar series is designed to engage and inform fire service members and treatment professionals alike on unique topics that impact this population. Upcoming training can be found here, and will cover topics such as: Work Life Balance in the Fire Service, Behavioral Health Among Fire Fighters and Paramedics: Treating Occupational Needs, and Suicide in the Fire Service: Prevention Planning & Intervention Strategies.
- National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s “6 Minutes for Safety: Special Edition for Suicide Prevention Day” features videos and resources for facilitating dialogue about suicide prevention.
- The California Fire Service Task Force on Behavioral Health has developed a website to unite fire service personnel on mind & body health issues called ‘Healing Our Own‘. Resources for individuals, peers, and departments are featured as well as information on the Safety Stand Down for Behavioral Health and Suicide Awareness.
- Taking care of your mental health is as important as managing your physical health. The National Volunteer Fire Council’s Share the Load™ program provides access to critical resources and information to help first responders and their families manage and overcome personal and work-related problems. This includes the Directory of Behavioral Health Professionals as a resource to find local assistance for behavioral health issues, as well as the Fire/EMS Helpline, which offers free 24-hour assistance with addiction issues. Upcoming Webinars can be found here.