June Community Education Webinars Focus on Peer Support and Post-Traumatic Growth in the Fire Service

Author: IAFF Center of Excellence Staff

June 11, 2021

The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery presents two new webinars in June covering best practices for peer support in the fire service and the concept of post-traumatic growth. June also sees the return of a continuing education credit for clinical social workers. Community education webinars are free, open to the public and hosted through Zoom.

Approaching a Member in Need: Peer Support in Action

Are you prepared to approach a crew member or friend in need? Intervention can be challenging, especially when it’s someone you care about. In this webinar training on Thursday, June 17, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. (EST), best practices for how to approach a crew member or friend coping with behavioral health challenges will be explored.

Molly Jones, LSW and Jeff Campbell, IAFF Master Peer Support Instructor and Tualatin Valley Local 1660 member, will demonstrate how to approach members displaying red flags. Speakers will: 

  • Conduct a live role play to demonstrate the peer support approach
  • Model different interactions, including with members who may be in denial, apathetic or resistant to seeking help or making a change in their lifestyle
  • Provide practical examples that may foster positive outcomes for approaching a member in need of support

Post-Traumatic Growth for Fire Service Members

Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG) is a theory that explains the transformation that individuals experience following exposure to trauma and adversity. This training on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. (EST) will explore the concept of post-traumatic growth, including how people develop a new understanding of themselves and the world around them and, ultimately, improve the trajectory of their lives.

Attendees will learn about the importance of finding meaning and newfound purpose in the aftermath of stressful and traumatic experiences, as well as discover more adaptive ways to cope with trauma — on and off the job.

Speaker Molly Jones, LSW, will provide real-life examples of how members of the fire service have fostered post-traumatic growth and demonstrated resiliency in their lives and careers.

Treating Fire Service Professionals: Building Cultural Competency (NASW Credit)

This webinar on Thursday, June 10, 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 for 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 stigmas around behavioral health problems. 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

This course is approved for continuing education by the Social Work Continuing Education Approval Collaborative, which is administered by NASW.

Completing this training will also 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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