Mental health apps available for first responders

Posted

The 100 Club of Arizona is offering two mobile apps, sponsored by the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation, to help first responders find mental health resources from a distance, as they cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

The Bulletproof app for all sworn officers, non-sworn/professional staff and family members is available now, free of charge, for any iPhone or Android device. It is available via the App Store or Google Play

Fireproof, an app for all sworn firefighters, non-sworn fire department staff and family members, will be available via the App Store or Google Play next month.

A special, department specific code is required to access the apps. First responders and their families can request the code from their agency’s wellness coordinator.

“Recent studies have found we’re losing more first responders to suicide than in the line of duty,” said Angela Harrolle, 100 Club of Arizona CEO. “In Arizona, we lost 12 first responders to suicide in 12 months beginning in 2019. That’s why getting easy access to resources into the hands of first responders is so important to us at the 100 Club.”

A recent study by the Ruderman Family Foundation found that the rate of post-traumatic stress and depression can be up to five times higher for police officers and firefighters than for the general public.

The Bulletproof and Fireproof apps provide comprehensive information, resources and referrals to help users with their mental health, physical goals, relationships and long-term financial stability. There is a Telehealth option for those who prefer to speak to a provider remotely – this option is especially needed for those who work odd hours, live in rural locations or who are currently quarantined. The private, confidential apps are available to users 24/7.

“The Bulletproof app from the 100 Club of Arizona goes over and above in the number and types of resources provided,” said Jerald Monahan, chief of police at the Yavapai College Police Department. “This app was built with the understanding of how hard it is for first responders who are always going to the rescue to acknowledge when they need rescued.”

There are 12 categories under which users can find additional information, wellness tips, resources, self-assessments and directories of therapists, peer support members or chaplains.

The resource categories include:

  1. My Agency’s Resources – resources available through the user’s specific department. This includes peer support members, chaplains and upcoming health & wellness events.
  2. Personal Wellness – resources for using mindfulness techniques, tips for combatting compassion fatigue, information about finding work-life balance, and information to learn coping, resiliency and self-care skills.
  3. Mental Health – resources designed to meet the unique needs of first responders that can help with trauma, critical incident and cumulative exposures.
  4. Physical Fitness & Health – access to tools, education, information and help with fitness, exercise and health.
  5. Financial Wellness – tools for budgeting, financial planning, retirement and more.
  6. Substance Use & Addiction – information, resources, support and treatment options for those who may be struggling with substance use or addiction.
  7. Self-Assessments – self assessment quizzes to determine risk of post-traumatic stress, operational police stress, depression, anxiety, and addiction.
  8. Peer Support – a network of sworn and non-sworn trained employees to assist with resources and emotional, personal and job-related support during a time of crisis.
  9. Find a Therapist – a directory of therapists who have expertise working with and understanding the unique needs of first responders.
  10. Chaplains – spiritual guidance and assistance for users who do not have their own clergy or who need spiritual assistance from someone familiar with the unique needs of first responders.
  11. Family & Relationship Support – resources and information to help first responder families thrive within the unique first responder lifestyle.
  12. Helpful Resources and Referrals – a comprehensive directory of resources available for first responders. Can be searched by topic and location to find the right resources for each person using the app.

The Bulletproof and Fireproof apps were paid for by a generous grant from the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation.

The 100 Club of Arizona is a philanthropic group that supports more than 50,000 firefighters, public safety officers, first responders, and their families throughout the State of Arizona. Learn more at: 100club.org.

Comments

X