As a former first responder, I have first-hand knowledge and experience as to the specific challenges that First Responders face. I am a member of the First Responders United team, alongside former officers Dr. Edward Murray and Roberta Weir. First Responders United is a unique organization in that it is run by former First Responders who are now in the counselling field. The mission of First Responders United is to provide a therapeutic retreat for First Responders to promote and support their recovery from operational traumatic stress incidents that they are exposed to in their careers. First Responders United provides support for First Responders by means of evidence-based psychological support, self-care strategies, education, and an informal peer support network to enable them to reduce the symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Through these implementations, First Responders United aids individuals in minimizing the long-term effects of traumatic stress, while also supporting individuals in making healthy career decisions.
Our retreat program includes an intensive therapeutic and educational experience designed to help current and retired First Responders recognize the signs and symptoms of work-related stress including PTSD in themselves and in others. While First Responders United is an outreach ministry of St. John’s United Church in Cardinal, Ontario, our program is not religiously based. First Responders from all or no religious background are welcome to participate in our 5-day residential program. And we welcome all First Responders regardless of their cultural, ethnic, or sexual orientation.
If you are a First Responder or if you know of a First Responder who could benefit from our assistance, either by means of therapeutic support or from our retreats, contact MRC Counselling or visit First Responders United Website for more information.