Friends of Firefighters (FoF) is a community not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing mental health and wellness services to FDNY firefighters and their families. Founded in response to the events of 9/11, FoF has been providing needed services to this community the way they need to be offered: by a team of professional staff sensitive to, and knowledgeable about the firefighter culture, free of charge, and with complete confidentiality.
Goal: Increase education, decrease stigma, encourage resilience
Steps: Develop curriculum, develop strategy to disseminate information, encourage resilience by promoting peer-to-peer support and improved access to FoF services
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Second to the military, firefighting is the most stressful job due to the physical danger, unpredictability, and negative psychological effects inherent in the job. In fact, firefighters are three times more likely to die of suicide than in the line of duty. Why is this? How can we better address the risk factors and strengthen the existing protective factors in the firefighter culture?
FoF’s mission to provide support to FDNY firefighters and their families has led us to partner with the LIPF to develop a curriculum that meets the needs of the FDNY firefighter community in the areas of depression and suicide.
Suicide is largely a taboo subject often cloaked in layers of shame and secrecy by the person struggling with depression and the family affected by it. In the firefighter community, this taboo is even more complicated. The nature of the job regularly exposes firefighters and their families to trauma, loss, and death. These exposures unsurprisingly have a compound effect; the more traumas a person experiences, the more likely s/he is to experience PTSD or depression. However, the culture of the job also strongly reminds the firefighter that s/he is the one there to help, not the one that needs help or support. This is where the FoF / LIPF partnership comes in. Join us.
SUPPORT THIS PROJECT
We ask you to join Friends of Firefighters, the LIPF, and Steve Buscemi and support this project. We will develop a curriculum that is specific to the firefighter culture and tailored to increase education, decrease stigma, and encourage resilience within this community. We will make a difference.
$500 = supports the development of the curriculum (research & writing)
$100 = supports the dissemination of the curriculum to one firehouse
$50 = supports one training to a group of officers and senior men
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- Mental health exposures
- What to expect — Common reactions to trauma
- Depression — What does this look like in the firefighter?
- Depression and suicide
- Risk factors & Protective factors in the fire culture
- Strategy for disseminating information about depression and suicide
- Strategy for promoting support and access
- Develop curriculum
- Personnel (writers, contributors): $10,000
- Disseminate curriculum
- Printing of info palm cards: $5,000
- Personnel (Mental health and Outreach team): $22,000
- Meetings with officers and senior men: $5,000
- Trainings at union meeting(s): $2,000
- Training more peer supporters: $2,000