BSA Behavioral Health, a service of FMC Health Network, announced that the clinic’s providers have been awarded certifications from Academy Hour to treat first responders. This is the only first responder-specific program in the panhandle area.
Shaina Neely, APRN, MSN, FNP-BC,PMHNP-BC, is now a certified first responder counselor, and Addison Weaver, BS, is a certified first responder counselor associate.
“Our first responders include police officers, paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, and rescue workers,” said Neely. “They work tirelessly and will put themselves in danger to ensure the safety of the public.”
It’s estimated that more than 80 percent of first responders experience traumatic events on the job. These events often involve exposure to life-threatening situations, which can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), roughly 1 in 3 first responders develop PTSD.
“Our first responders are there to protect and care for us,” Neely added. “We feel it is important to make sure that we can be there to care for them. By being certified through Academy Hour, we’re now able to offer the best treatment and support for them.”
The clinic now provides a first responder’s crisis line, where first responders are able to receive free emergency assistance 24 hours a day. Any first responder who would like access to the crisis line should call 806-350-7601.
First responders, as well as anyone seeking mental health resources, can easily find out if treatment is right for them by filling out a short online assessment here.