Mental health resources available for law enforcement and first responders

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Law enforcement officers find themselves in dangerous situations every day in the line of duty. A first responder mental health advocate said any tragic incident takes its toll on first responders around the world.

Ohio First Responder Welfare Office Director Steven Click said when an officer dies in the line of duty, it affects the mental well-being of not only everyone who belongs to this department, but of all agencies involved in the response and first responders everywhere. .

“One of the things we say up front is, you know, you don’t know what the day is going to bring and you have to be prepared for the circumstances,” Click said.

Click to say that preparing for unexpected situations starts with training.

“So when they go out there and they have those situations, they can fall back on that formation,” Click said.

If and when a tragedy occurs, like the fatal shooting of Clark County Deputy Matthew Yates, Click said his office is there to connect law enforcement with the mental health help they need. need.

“We want to make sure, if they need anything, that we make those connections for them, that we reach out to those people, for them, we were able to make sure the peer support was available. Sunday,” Click said.

Click said the Clark County Sheriff’s Office acted immediately to provide peer support as well as critical incident and stress management teams to help its staff.

Click said his office will work with agencies to find peer support, connect them with local mental health councils, critical incident response and any other needs a first responder might face.

“You can’t recover from a situation like this. No one who worked on Sunday will recover. But we want to make sure that we can help them to pass, to pass, to go beyond.

The Ohio Office of First Responder Wellness sees the impact of their work on first responders, and each individual has a unique response when tragedy strikes. Click said his office was there whenever they needed it.

“Please don’t wait until you feel overwhelmed. Please don’t wait until you feel like I’m in trouble before asking for help,” Click said.

Click said her office is working with agencies to be proactive about mental health, including designating funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to create and strengthen mental health partnerships within agencies.

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