First Responders, this is where you start getting control backMeg Berry, LCSW, Certified EMDR Therapist
First responders dedicate their lives to saving others, not themselves. Let this page bring you together
First responders are often reluctant to seek mental health treatment. Police, fire-fighters, EMTs, paramedics, and 911 dispatchers all feel the pressure to stay strong and not appear weak or unable to do their job. You, as a first responder, come to the public in times of crisis. You see and feel human suffering at its worst. Living your calling as a first responder will have an impact on you. If you landed here, you are likely feeling emotions that invade all aspects of your life: sleep is impacted, feeling like your mind is no longer yours, superimposing loved ones onto the calls you went on; being afraid your life is over. Other symptoms may include angry outbursts, headaches, noticing your children’s behavior changes, avoiding time with loved ones, or difficulty communicating with your significant other. Trust in others may have been lost, and loved ones may have told you you’ve changed. You are not alone. Many police, fire fighters, EMTs, paramedics and 911 dispatchers have been where you are, are currently where you are, or will be where you are. You will get through this. You will survive this and come out stronger for it. Therapy, (or psychotherapy, or counseling) can give you your life back. Therapy with me is confidential and solution-focused. If you have been putting off going to therapy because you don’t want to be seen going in and out of a therapist’s office, I offer on-line counseling, which is a legal and ethical means to providing therapy/counseling. If you are afraid of being seen as weak or a failure, it is all the more important to find a therapist who specializes in the unique culture of first responders. If you believe you have no time, remember this: if you don’t take care of it now, it will take care of you later. Sooner or later, the symptoms will become unbearable and your entire life will be forever affected. I offer on-line counseling meaning I will work around your schedule even if you are at home. Coming to psychotherapy with me will help you gain control of yourself, your mind, your emotions, and your life as I specialize with first responders dealing with the stress of their jobs causing the emotional and behavioral symptoms you have been noticing. Don’t put off contacting me any longer. I offer in-person psychotherapy in Bradenton Florida and Waterford Connecticut, as well as on-line counseling across the states of Florida and Connecticut. The initial call is the hardest part and I know you have a ton of strength. Head on over to my Contact page to make the initial contact with me now.
On this page, you will find links to helpful articles, websites and more to learn you are not alone in what you are going through. This page brings first responders together through shared experience. You will find resources for self-help as well as professional help. This page is constantly being updated, so please bookmark the page and come back regularly.
Statements from first responders who have battled and survived PTSD
“Living with PTSD is a daily battle. Some days are good, some not so good. Triggers are a daily occurrence. I am proof that you can survive this with proper treatment. My book “When the Laughter Dies” was written by me, in my own words about my PTSD and how I deal with it as a First Responder.” – Paul
“You are not alone. Talk about the trauma, how you think and feel. Keep moving forward, no matter what. Don’t shut your family out and don’t forget, it’s not what is wrong with you but rather what happened to you. Somethings are worth fighting for and you’re one of them! We can’t stand to lose one more responder to PTSD or suicide.” – Matt Carlson, LPC, LAC, PhD Candidate, Co-Founder/Regional Director of Building Warriors