NVFC Offers Free Suicide Prevention and Stress Management Training during Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is offering two important behavioral health courses for free during this month: Preventing and Coping with Suicide in the Fire and Emergency Services and Putting Out the Fire: Stress Resilience Strategies. Both courses are available online through the NVFC’s Virtual Classroom.

Preventing and Coping with Suicide in the Fire and Emergency Services, developed with support from the U.S. Fire Administration, focuses on suicide awareness and prevention. Presented by Jeff Dill, founder of the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance and a certified counselor, the course contains three modules that examines the signs and symptoms preceding suicide, highlights available resources for departments and individuals, and discusses the healing process when coping with a firefighter suicide.

Putting Out the Fire: Stress Resilience Strategies looks at strategies first responders can use to effectively manage stress. Stress is an underlying risk factor that affects a majority of the population, especially first responders. This course will help you identify your current stressors, learn what types of stressors exist, and recognize the types to which you are susceptible. It then keys in on the types of stressors most prominent for firefighters and how to successfully manage stress as it arises.

Take these important courses for free during May and encourage your department members to do the same. Click here to learn more and access the training.

Find additional resources for first responder behavioral health through the NVFC’s Share the Load™ program. This support program for firefighters, EMTs, and their families includes a 24/7 helpline; an online resource center; a newsletter with tips and information to help first responders take a proactive approach to behavioral health; and outreach materials such as a poster that departments can hang up at the station to remind their members that help is available.