Jocko will stress that it is critical for emergency responders to be there for one another. This means taking the responsibility of educating yourself on being able to recognize the signs of behavioral health issues and taking that first step to make sure someone is okay.
This foundational class with the world’s premiere expert on sleep lays out the science of sleep and how the lack of it contributes to just about every health problem emergency responders face. Also provides invaluable tips on how to improve sleep so you can work to establish new health and safety standards back at home. Dr. Walker will also conduct a Q & A session with attendees.
PTSD has become a common phrase in emergency services, yet our understanding of it’s manifestation, diagnosis, and treatment is not well known. This class will lean on evidence-based research to explain the origins of trauma and more importantly, the path towards resiliency. Over the course of history, we have learned that often, the best way to grow is through adversity. The class will describe the importance of understanding our own trauma stories and learning the common routes towards growth. These include social support, mindfulness, rest, and meaning making.
As first responders, when we think of mental health disorders, we often think in terms of us vs them. We believe that our responsibility to our community means we can never show any sort of weakness. This misperception can lead members to suppress emotions and fail to address the underlying causes that can build into crisis. Attendees will learn methods to prevent suicide by learning its traceable causes. Rather than focusing on individual risk factors, this course is designed to explain how creating an environment to encourage help seeking behavior can alter an individual’s trajectory from reaching suicide.
When stressed, emergency responders usually resort to their “go-to” in order to cope, whether it is working out, going for a jog, or simply throwing a line in the water to fish. Dr. Williams will walk through her “Admit, Talk, Heal” approach for when your coping mechanism isn’t enough to manage the stress and trauma you face.
Suicide is a sensitive topic to discuss. Stigma and fear continue to keep those who are struggling to get the help they need and deserve. Accurate reporting of suicide remains difficult and increases our need to invest more resources for this leading cause of death. Taryn Hiatt of AFSP will discuss how we view suicide, how to talk about it, and proactive steps you can take to implement sound, proactive policy on your department.
Bryan Frieders from The Firefighter Cancer Support Network will address how events unfold in the immediate hours and days of a loved being told they have cancer and how to approach friends, family, and co-workers to inform them of the news.