Addressing the Mental Health Crisis Among First Responders
Thanks to everyone who made it to the Philadelphia panel discussion, Health Equity: Promoting Culturally Competent Treatment for First Responders.
A special thanks to my fellow panelists:
Hon. James “Jim” Carroll – Former Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
Hon. Uttam Dhillon – Former Acting Director, Drug Enforcement Agency
Hon. Isaiah Thomas – Council-member at Large, Philadelphia City Council
Thomas Kane – Fire Chief, Philadelphia Fire Department
Janean Brown – Police Officer, Philadelphia Police Department
Francis Healy – Staff Inspector, Philadelphia Police Department
John C. Becker, Jr. – LPC, CAADC, SAP, CTR, Guardian Recovery Services
It was a substantive and solution focused discussion in which we covered a range of topics. Here are some key takeaways:
- Police Officers are constantly witnessing traumatic events, and it is imperative that they have an anonymous outlet to talk about how this is affecting their mental health.
- Local mental health and addiction treatment providers need to be tracking outcomes via a third party to ensure that first responders are getting effective and personalized care when referred for treatment.
- The local 22 firefighters and paramedics union are focused on reducing the stigma related to mental health and making sure that all members have access to resources to prevent PTSD and other conditions.
- First responders are more inclined to speak openly with other first responders, it is important to have clinicians and peer support specialists available who understand the unique needs of this population.
- Philadelphia City Council members recognize the incredible work being done by the Police, Firefighters and Paramedics are willing to work with top officials to continue to promote health equity and make sure that there are an abundance of resources available to the men and women who keep the city safe.
If you’d like to be informed of upcoming roundtable discussions and other events email firstname.lastname@example.org