NVFC publishes behavioral healthcare provider directory for fire, EMS responders
The directory contains practice details and contact information for dozens of behavioral healthcare providers across the country
By Laura French
GREENBELT, Md. — The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has published a directory of behavioral healthcare providers across the country equipped to help firefighters, EMS providers, dispatchers and rescue workers with their mental and behavioral health needs.
The directory, compiled in partnership with the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FBHA) and the American Psychological Association (APA), contains detailed practice information and contact information for behavioral health professionals who either have firsthand experience with fire and EMS services or have completed FBHA training to become educated about specific challenges for first responders, according to a press release.
"Emergency responders are the ones rushing in when everyone else is rushing out, and that takes a toll on behavioral health," said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. "Add to that the stressors of balancing the fire service with family life and, for volunteers, another career. It is imperative that those who need help have access to mental health providers that understand the unique challenges and stressors they face. I encourage department leaders to make sure their members are aware that this important resource is available."
The directory can be downloaded on the NVFC website and will be updated monthly as new providers are added.
The directory was compiled as part of the NVFC's Psychologically Health Fire Departments initiative and "Share the Load" program, which are funded through a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).