New Issue of the NVFC Helpletter Now Available

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has released the third issue of The Helpletter, the newsletter of the Share the Loadâ„¢ behavioral health support program. The issue will be mailed to all U.S. fire departments and all NVFC individual members, and it is also available for download on the NVFC web site.

Many firefighters, EMTs, and rescue personnel face behavioral health challenges including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, addiction, stress, marital strain, and suicidal thoughts. The NVFC works to help personnel, departments, and families proactively address behavioral health; break the stigma surrounding behavioral health issues; and provide tools and resources for those who need help.

This issue of The Helpletter covers a variety of topics including:

  • Keeping family relationships strong
  • The organizational impacts of bullying
  • PTSD in the rural fire department
  • Planning for retirement
  • The connection between physical fitness and mental health
  • Watching out for fellow firefighters
  • Self-care techniques
  • Making positive changes
  • Incorporating behavioral health into organizational culture
  • Assistance available through the Fire/EMS Helpline

In addition, a poster is included that can be hung up at the station to remind personnel that the Fire/EMS Helpline is available 24/7 if needed at 1-888-731-FIRE (3473). This helpline is provided by American Addiction Centers and was created by firefighters for firefighters, EMS providers, and their families. The poster also includes signs to watch for and tips on how to help if a fellow responder is experiencing a behavioral health issue.

View all issues of The Helpletter and find additional resources to Share the Load at www.nvfc.org/help.