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NVFC launches First Responder Helpline


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On October 10, World Mental Health Day, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) announces the launch of the NVFC First Responder Helpline.

The new resource provides both immediate assistance in a crisis moment, as well as confidential counselling, resources, and referrals for a range of issues including stress management, family conflict, financial or legal concerns, addiction, grief or loss, and more.

The program is provided through Provident and supported by Business Health Services (BHS), a leader in providing emotional and behavioural health consultations, in partnership with Responders 1st Call.

BHS has been delivering mental and behavioural health services to organizations since 1983. The contact centre is staffed by master’s level clinicians with an average of five years of experience specially trained in assisting and supporting first responder groups.

In addition to immediate assistance in a crisis moment, the NVFC First Responder Helpline will also provide stress management and work-life services, including up to five telephone stress management coaching sessions (or the number of sessions allowed by state law) with master’s degreed counsellors, access to attorneys for a 30-minute phone or in-person legal consultation, referrals to consultants to assist with debt management and other financial concerns, and resources and referrals to help with childcare, elder care, or adoption.

NVFC chair Steve Hirsch, commented: “Emergency responders face the same stressors and concerns as everyone but add to this the fact that we routinely experience traumatic situations that most people never encounter in their lifetime.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this new resource so that first responders and their families have a place to turn in times of need. The NVFC First Responder Helpline provides a wide range of assistance to help our members cope with traumatic incidents, everyday life stresses, work-related concerns, family issues, and more.”

The NVFC First Responder Helpline is provided to all NVFC members and their household family members. Members can access the number on the members section of the NVFC web site. Once logged in, go to Member Resources and then Member Benefits to find the number. Non-members can join for just $21 a year to access this and other NVFC member benefits. 

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