“Emotional Body Armor for First Responders,” a workshop that teaches police, fire and emergency service personnel to break free of the stigma of asking for help, will come to the East Coast for the first time on May 15.
Montgomery County Emergency Service (MCES) and Safe Call Now are partnering to bring the workshop to the grounds of Norristown State Hospital. MCES is a non-profit, behavioral health center that has provided mental health education and crisis intervention to law enforcement for nearly forty years. Safe Call Now is a nationwide, confidential referral and assistance agency for law enforcement officers in crisis.
Every day, police officers, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, and other first responders see, hear, and touch some of the most horrible things imaginable. They are often asked to respond to the unthinkable acts of violence and then go home to their families where they are expected to “act normal” and then go back to work the next day or night and do it all over again. The stress of can have detrimental effects on a first responder’s mental and physical health, and the stigma of asking for help can be devastating.
The Emotional Body Armor workshop is designed to help first responders learn about how unaddressed mental health concerns can negatively impact their lives and their careers and to empower first responders to confront the issues.
The workshop is facilitated by the Sean Riley, the founder and president of Safe Call Now. Riley threw away his almost 20-year stellar police career due to an alcohol and drug addiction and was headed toward becoming another unknown police suicide statistic. Instead, he addressed his problems head-on and created a safe place for police officers around the nation. Caroline Smith (MA, LPC, LISAC, CSAT, CMAT, EMDR), the Director of Pine Grove Family & Intensive Workshops and advisory board member of Safe Call Now, will co-facilitate.
The workshop will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Building 33 on the grounds of Norristown State Hospital. The fee is $100 with lunch provided.