FirstNet, First H.E.L.P Partner to Provide Responder Readiness Training in Illinois
Friday, June 03, 2022 | Comments

First H.E.L.P. and FirstNet, built with AT&T, teamed up to provide first responders in communities throughout Illinois with mental health training through First H.E.L.P.'s #ResponderReadiness Workshop Series.

During First H.E.L.P.'s four-hour workshops, first responders explore the "3Ps" of responder readiness: performance, persistence and prevention. Through small group discussions, participants examine the impact that operational stress and trauma have on their careers and families and take a deep dive using scenario-based training to practice difficult conversations about mental health and suicide prevention with friends, family members and co-workers. First responders also practice resilience skills using what First H.E.L.P. refers to as the R.A.N.G.E. of Resilience.

Upcoming Illinois workshops will take place in Urbana on June 6 and June 7, Morris on June 9, and Yorkville on June 15. First H.E.L.P. will also be at the Law Enforcement Wellness Support Event on June 21.

Since 2016, First H.E.L.P. has consistently tracked law enforcement suicides throughout the nation and, in 2021, opened its efforts to include all first responders. The state of Illinois accounts for more than 6% of the 1,040 suicides reported to First H.E.L.P. since 2017, with three reported already in 2022. AT&T is working to ease the burden on communities by providing this First H.E.L.P. high-quality training to Illinois first responders at no cost.

"AT&T's commitment to our public-safety community goes beyond our FirstNet network connectivity," said Dr. Anna Courie, director, responder wellness, FirstNet Program at AT&T. "We are dedicated to working with First H.E.L.P. to bring mental health resources to first responders across the country, especially in rural areas with limited access. This program with First H.E.L.P. will better equip first responders mentally and physically and help our public-safety community stay safer."

First H.E.L.P.'s goal for the first half of 2022 is to bring its workshop to 400 first responders in Illinois.

First H.E.L.P.'s training program reinforces the strategic priorities established by the FirstNet Health and Wellness Coalition (FNHWC) to support first responders and their families. The two organizations hope to see this training reach as far into these rural communities as possible. While the training is open to federal, state, and large municipal responders, priority will go to smaller communities.

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