Suicide in the Fire Service: Prevention Planning & Intervention Strategies

Estimated watch time: 1 hr 50 minutes

Presentation Materials:

Dr. Brandy Benson, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and the owner of Tampa Bay Psychology Associates in Clearwater, Florida. She specializes in the behavioral health and wellness of first responders and her clientele ranges between law enforcement, fire rescue, emergency medical personnel, dispatchers, federal agents and their family members.

Dr. Benson’s areas of service include crisis intervention, trauma therapy, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) development and provision. She also specializes in fitness-for-duty, pre-employment, post-incident, and psychological clearance evaluations. Most recently, Dr. Benson has been hired by several agencies to assist with consultation and development of Officer Wellness and Safety programs to support increased utilization of mental health services by employees, as well as overall resiliency and prevention efforts of PTSD, Suicide, and other psychological conditions impacting the first responder communities.

Objectives and Summary:

This presentation will address the important issue of suicide among fire service members and equip participants with practical strategies and preparedness for prevention within their own agencies. Dr. Brandy Benson, PsyD, will discuss unique, potential warning signs of suicidality among fire service members and first responders, as well as protective factors present within the population. In addition, this presentation will seek to dispel myths and misconceptions about suicide within the fire service and provide a step-by-step process for the assessment and intervention with a suicidal person.

This presentation is ideal for IAFF members, clinicians, fire service leadership, peer support team members, chaplains, spouses and other individuals who may be seeking to learn more about suicide in the fire service and ways they can contribute to prevention efforts.

After watching this presentation, the viewer will:

  • Understand the prevalence of suicide in the fire service
  • Know the reasons why fire service members might not seek out treatment for suicidal ideation
  • Learn common risk and protective factors for suicide for fire service members
  • Know how to identify the commonalities between firefighter suicides and discuss warning signs for suicidal thinking in fire service members
  • Learn how to assess for suicide in fire service members and what actions to take if a member discloses suicide ideation, displays suicidal gestures, and/or makes a suicide attempt

 

Presentation Materials:

Dr. Brandy Benson, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and the owner of Tampa Bay Psychology Associates in Clearwater, Florida. She specializes in the behavioral health and wellness of first responders and her clientele ranges between law enforcement, fire rescue, emergency medical personnel, dispatchers, federal agents and their family members.

Dr. Benson’s areas of service include crisis intervention, trauma therapy, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) development and provision. She also specializes in fitness-for-duty, pre-employment, post-incident, and psychological clearance evaluations. Most recently, Dr. Benson has been hired by several agencies to assist with consultation and development of Officer Wellness and Safety programs to support increased utilization of mental health services by employees, as well as overall resiliency and prevention efforts of PTSD, Suicide, and other psychological conditions impacting the first responder communities.