This course offers an explanation of secondary traumatic stress, how it differs from post-traumatic stress and burnout, and how it impacts first responders and their families. Proactive and reactive strategies are offered for individuals and organizations to mitigate the accumulation of stress resulting in secondary traumatic stress disorder (STSD).
This course applies the research on resilience to first responder work, discussing risk and protective factors. Strategies are offered to assist first responders to identify personal risk and protective factors, in order to decrease the risk factors (ex.- isolating, faulty thinking, avoidance) and increase protective factors (seeking support, improving health, purpose).
This course discusses unique sources of chronic stress affecting first responders (overtime, shiftwork, high call load). The psychological, physiological, and spiritual toll of burnout is discussed and complemented by practical strategies aimed at countering these harmful effects.
In this course, peers learn how to identify signs of common issues affecting first responders, and how to have helpful conversations to support them. Practical guidance is also offered, including identification of strategies and resources so that peers are better equipped to support fellow first responders.
This course offers families of first responders insights into the changes that occur over the
career of the first responder. Families are assisted in identifying these changes and
communicating them in a supportive manner to their first responder. They also learn to
build their own resilience, as they adapt to the givens of first responder work (danger,
shiftwork, public scrutiny). Lastly, families are equipped with resources to continue
building their resilience, which will, in turn, fortify the first responder’s resilience.
This course assists first responders to develop balance even with the demands of their work. They are assisted to transition from work to home, to be more engaged in their home life, and improve their health and relationships outside of work. In this way, they are
restored to better meet the demands of the first responder role.