National First Responders Day is an opportunity to honor the men and women who help us on our worst days, but a non-profit Florida behavioral health system is marking the day by shedding light on new resources designed to help these heroes when they face their own issues.
In the last five years, more than 1,200 first responders in the U.S. have tragically taken their own lives, according to Blue H.E.L.P. Twenty percent of these first responders were from Florida.
LSF Health Systems is leading the charge in Northeast and Northern Central Florida for first responder mental health. Its First Responder Peer Support Program provides confidential, free mental health services to current and former first responders and their families. They need only call 211 and identify themselves as a first responder and they will be paired with a trained peer counselor within 24 hours.
First Responder Peer Support is available to current and former first responders in 20 Florida counties who either don’t have access to an internal mental health program or prefer not to directly engage with someone within their own department. This program also extends its support to family members of first responders.
First responders – or their family members – can visit StayFitforDuty.org for more information or call 211 and identify themselves as a first responder to be confidentially connected with a peer specialist.