Survey Data

We surveyed 768 emergency response leaders across Colorado about the mental health of their responders, including resources, needs and priorities. Read the results in “Taking Care of Our Own: Mental Health Among Colorado Emergency Responders.”

75%

of leaders report that their agencies now have access to peer support (80 percent of urban respondents and 73 percent of rural)

68%
  • Licensed mental health professionals are available to 68 urban and 60% rural)

11%

of leaders believe that responders feel comfortable discussing their own mental health

38%

Only 38 percent of leaders believe there is adequate time for responders to process stressful incidents at work, with some branches significantly lower (EMS: 51 percent; fire: 46 percent; police: 38 percent; sheriff: 29 percent; dispatch: 23 percent; and state patrol: 20 percent)

Articles and Research

Collected information regarding responder wellness as well as mental, emotional and physical resiliency, focusing on how they relate to emergency responders.

Acute and chronic job stressors among ambulance personnel: Predictors of health symptoms

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Cardiovascular risk factor reduction in first responders resulting from an individualized lifestyle and blood test program

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Changes in spirituality partly explain health-related quality of life outcomes after Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

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Current perspectives on the use of meditation to reduce blood pressure

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Downtime after critical incidents in emergency medical technicians/paramedic

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A human component to consider in your emergency management plans: the critical incident stress factor

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Mindfulness-based resilience training to reduce health risk, stress reactivity, and aggression among law enforcement officers: A reasibility and preliminary efficacy trial

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The moderating effect of self-compassion and dispositional mindfulness on police occupational stress: Preliminary results

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Resilience@Work mindfulness program: Results from a cluster randomized controlled trial with first responders

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Responder Resilience: Evidence-based program improves and sustains first-responder behavioral health

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The shift length experiment: What we know about 8-, 10- and 12-hour shifts in policing

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Suicide surveillance, prevention, and intervention measures for the U.S. Fire Service

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Surveys and Overviews

First Responders: Behavioral Health Concerns, Emergency Response, and Trauma

An overview of behavioral health issues impacting responders, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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Majority of First Responders Face Mental Health Challenges in the Workplace

Results of a nationwide survey of responders conducted by the University of Phoenix

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Mental Health and Stress in Emergency Medical Services

An overview of the mental and emotional health issues EMS personnel deal with, from the National EMS Management Association

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National Survey on EMS Mental Health Services

A nationwide survey of EMS personnel dealing with access to mental health services, conducted by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians

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Ruderman White Paper on Mental Health and Suicide of First Responders

A comprehensive study of the impact of mental health issues and suicide on responders, by the Ruderman Family Foundation

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Articles

Learn more about and follow federal, state and local legislation that could affect emergency responders.

Concern about lower life expectancy among reasons for new wellness program for Steamboat police

Article from the Steamboat Pilot & Today

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The effects of trauma on first responders

A series of articles from The Dialogue, a publication of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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Establishing credibility with the first responder community

Advice for peers, counselors and psychologists from Law Officer

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First Responders and Mental Health

Article from Psychology Today

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The Law Enforcement Marriage: Knowing When It's Time to Get Help

Article from the International Association of Chiefs of Police

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National Data Shows Firefighters’ Mental, Emotional Health Not Getting Enough Attention

Report on a joint study by NBC Bay Area and the International Association of Firefighters

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Nutritional Psychology and Its Impact on Emergency Responders

Article from the Journal of Emergency Medical Services

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Recognizing, treating, and managing post-traumatic stress disorder in first responders

Discussion on New Hampshire Public Radio

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Strong, brave and traumatized: Upstate SC first responders often haunted by what they see

Article from the Greenville (S.C.) News

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Time to talk about it

Discussion of responder mental health from EMS World magazine

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A variety of articles

gathered by the First Responder Support Network

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Who takes care of caregivers?

Article from the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians

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Why our first responders are so burned out

Analysis from Vice on how empathy can actually work against responders

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Legislation

Learn more about and follow federal, state and local legislation that could affect emergency responders.

Colorado House Bill 19-1244

Expands the types of law enforcement entities that can apply for a grant from the peace officers mental health support grant program and specifies new permissible uses of grant money. Adds reporting requirements for grant recipients.

Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council legislation tracker

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Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act: A Report to Congress

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Policies

Sample policies from agencies willing to share.

From EAP to BHAP: A Guide for Fire Departments

From EAP to BHAP: A Guide for Fire Departments

Guidance for fire departments regarding the minimum standards for occupational health and safety program from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

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Mental Health First Aid State Policy Toolkit

A state-by-state overview of Mental Health First Aid policy produced by the National Council for Behavioral Health

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From EAP to BHAP: A Guide for Fire Departments

Peer Support Guidelines

Information and recommendations on forming and maintaining a peer support structure from the International Association of Chiefs of Police

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