Free Services for Our Heroes
Completely Free and Confidential Services for Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters, EMT’s, and Veterans
Insurance will not be billed.
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Why We Offer Services At No Cost to America’s Heroes
Erin worked as a therapist in a women’s Therapeutic Community Unit in Albuquerque, New Mexico while her husband worked as a Correctional Officer in a men’s maximum and Federal facility outside of Albuquerque. She also supports her various family members in the Military, and has witnessed firsthand what damage untreated trauma can create for all involved.
Working closely with Correctional Officers, and treating trauma in first responders, law enforcement, fire fighters, and veterans over the last 15 years has shed light on why those in need of help refuse to get help.
Some do not want their insurance billed, some worry that they may feel judged by colleagues in their profession. Others might feel like it would affect their career/chance for a promotion, or they do not feel comfortable speaking to another person about their problems, or not wanting people to perceive them as being weak.
Last year, the rate of suicide among active-duty troops was 25.9 per 100,000 troops, according to the Pentagon’s annual report on suicide. The rate was 24.9 per 100,000 in 2018, and 21.9 per 100,000 in 2017. The rate has showed a steady increase from 2014, when the rate was 18.5 per 100,000 service members.
In all, 498 troops died by suicide in 2019.
First responders not only deal with everyday stress, but they are on the front lines of situations that are often extraordinary and traumatic. These experiences, compounded by long hours and the need to make quick decisions, can take a toll on their mental health and wellbeing. Considering the nature of their jobs, it is not surprising that most first responders believe mental health and wellness is important. However, the stigma associated with mental health counseling might be preventing first responders from actually acquiring the help they need.
Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers make our communities stronger and safer, every day. In doing so, they see daily conflicts, incidents, accidents and violence. This stress and pressure add up. Trauma can begin to impact the health. However this trauma and its effects are treatable.
Forward Facing Trauma Therapy and other somatic interventions have been proved effective in developing a constant relaxed-body state. When we are not in a situation of complete overwhelm, we can find ways to resource ourselves and encourage more rational responses.
- Police have a 69 percent higher risk of suicide than the average worker, and detectives have an 82 percent higher risk.
- Domestic violence is 2 to 4 times more common in police families than in the general population. In two separate studies, 40% of police officers self-report that they have used violence against their domestic partners within the last year. In the general population, it’s estimated that domestic violence occurs in about 10% of families.
- In a nationwide survey of 123 police departments, 45% had no specific policy for dealing with officer-involved domestic violence.
- In that same survey, the most common discipline imposed for a sustained allegation of domestic violence was counseling. Only 19% of departments indicated that officers would be terminated after a second sustained allegation of domestic violence.
Why It’s Important to Discuss Mental Health
As a community, there are steps we can take to erase the stigmas associated with receiving professional counseling. There is no shame in seeking treatment for the flu or visiting the dentist. The same should be true of taking care of our mental wellbeing. Organizations and individuals that support Our Heroes need to change the conversation about mental health, share their experiences and encourage others to seek help if they need it. It starts with having an open and honest dialogue. The stigma associated with mental health has not allowed these conversations to happen. Some assume that if no one is speaking about it, it must not be happening. In actuality, many people are seeking help: they are just not speaking about it.
If mental health issues are not addressed, they can affect job performance, family life and even physical health. Often it just takes one trusted person speaking up to change perceptions. On the job and in the mental health field, we need to provide a safe space where our Heroes can discuss mental health confidentially and without judgment or repercussions.