April Community Education Webinars Explore Anxiety and Opioid Addiction in the Fire Service

Author: IAFF Center of Excellence Staff

April 6, 2021

The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery presents two new webinars in April on anxiety and opioid addiction in the fire service. The cultural competency webinar for clinicians also returns in April. Community education webinars are free, open to the public and hosted through Zoom.

Understanding Anxiety

This training on Thursday, April 8, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. (EST) is an introductory webinar on anxiety and will highlight specific forms of anxiety, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety. During the presentation, Molly Jones, LSW, Clinical Outreach Coordinator for the Center will:

  • Define anxiety and its various forms
  • Identify common symptoms associated with anxiety disorders
  • Discuss how the chronic, cumulative exposure to trauma in the fire service impacts a member with anxiety
  • Explore effective treatment modalities for anxiety disorders

Attending this webinar will help fire service members better understand anxiety so they’re better prepared to recognize it in themselves and their peers.

Opioid Addiction, Recovery and One Fire Fighter’s Journey

This webinar on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. (EST) will provide fire service personnel and loved ones a fresh perspective on today’s opioid epidemic, which has quietly raged on throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While Fire and EMS personnel regularly witness the devastating community impact of opioid addiction, some members struggle in silence with their own battles.

The webinar will explore opioid addiction as a disease, best practices in opioid addiction treatment, and unique treatment considerations for fire service personnel coping with this problem.

IAFF Behavioral Health Specialist Lauren Kosc will be joined by Lieutenant Chris Coggin of Boston Local 718. Chris will share his personal journey of addiction and recovery, as well as his role in responding to the opioid crisis on Boston’s front lines.

Treating Fire Service Professionals: Building Cultural Competency

This webinar on Thursday, April 22, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. (EST) helps clinicians and other community partners develop cultural competency in the fire service to provide effective behavioral health treatment to fire fighters, paramedics and emergency dispatchers.

The event covers day-to-day life at the firehouse and the potential impact of aspects of the job on well-being, such as exposure to trauma, shift schedules and mental health stigmas. This presentation also provides insight on:

  • Common behavioral health issues experienced by fire service members
  • Substance use trends among this unique population of professionals
  • Treatment techniques that have proven successful at the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery

Completing this training will establish clinicians as preferred providers in the IAFF Center of Excellence database for outpatient and aftercare referrals to provide a continuation of care for clients with providers who understand the intricacies of the fire service.

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