Mental Health First Responders Military Personnel (3,0,0) 3 credits

Course Schedule

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ClassTopic(s) ReadingsAssignments / Remarks
April 7Introduction a. History of PTSD b. What is first responder mental health? How is it different from civilian mental health? c. What is trauma? What role does it play in first responder mental health? d. What is crisis, critical incident stress management, PTSI?Emergency Responders: Tips for taking care of yourself https://emergency.cdc.gov/coping/responders.asp  Kleim, B., & Westphal, M. (2011). Mental health in first responders: A review and recommendation for prevention and intervention strategies. Traumatology17(4), 17-24. Link: https://bit.ly/3r5U4sK 
April 14First Responders (Police) Theory and Practice a. Hiring procedures b. Police personality c. Police culture      i. Masculinity, the thin blue line, privilege, allyship, power dynamic (rank and file)Bradford, B., Jackson, J., & Hough, M. (2013). Police legitimacy in action: Lessons for theory and practice. Link: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2236691 Law Enforcement Ethics . . .The Continuum of Compromise
April 21First Responders’ Operational vs. Organizational StressorsOrganizational Stress More Dangerous than Occupational Stress for Public Safety Personnel
Carleton, R. N., Afifi, T. O., Taillieu, T., Turner, S., Mason, J. E., Ricciardelli, R., … & Griffiths, C. T. (2020). Assessing the relative impact of diverse stressors among public safety personnel. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(4), 1234.Retrieved from https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/4/1234 
April 28First Responders and Social Media Influence a. Defund movements b. Scrutiny and accountability c. Use of force d. IIU – internal investigationsSocial Workers to the Rescue?: An Ur o the Rescue?: An Urgent Call for Emer gent Call for Emergency Response Reform https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2847&context=ulj Tucker, J. M., Bratina, M. P., & Caprio, B. (2022). Understanding the effect of news media and social media on first responders. Crisis, Stress, and Human Resilience: An International Journal3(4), 106-137. Link: https://www.crisisjournal.org/article/33611.pdf   
May 5Trauma/Trauma Responses a. Lived experience b. Vicarious c. PTSI storiesFirst Responders: Behavioral Health Concerns, Emergency Response, and Trauma. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/dtac/supplementalresearchbulletin-firstresponders-may2018.pdf First responders, trauma & suicide https://www.suicideinfo.ca/resource/first-responders-trauma-intervention-suicide-prevention/ 
May 12Coping Strategy a. Mental health b. Addiction c. SuicideResource Guide for Coping with Secondhand Trauma https://socialworklicensemap.com/blog/coping-with-secondary-trauma/ Self-care & Maintaining Professional Boundaries https://www.pcsao.org/pdf/conference/PPTs/Self-care%20slides.pdf  Annotated bibliography
May 19Military/RCMP PresentationsOlson, M. D. (2018). Exploring military social work from a social justice perspective. International Social Work61(1), 119-129. Blackburn, D. (2016). Transitioning from military to civilian life: Examining the final step in a military career. Canadian Military Journal16(4), 53-61.Link: https://bit.ly/3Kfh148 Blackburn, D. (2015). Social Work in the Military~ Considering a Renewed Scope of Practice. Canadian Military Journal16(1), 34-43.Link: https://bit.ly/3j7NIVr Smith-MacDonald, L., VanderLaan, A., Kaneva, Z., Voth, M., Pike, A., Jones, C., & Bremault-Phillips, S. (2022). “Putting Down and Letting Go”: An Exploration of a Community-Based Trauma-Oriented Retreat Program for Military Personnel, Veterans, and RCMP. Trauma Care2(2), 95-113. Link: https://www.mdpi.com/2673-866X/2/2/9/pdf 
May 26Corrections/Dispatch (Telecommunications) PresentationsCone, D. C., Galante, N., & MacMillan, D. S. (2008). Can emergency medical dispatch systems safely reduce first-responder call volume?. Prehospital emergency care12(4), 479-485. Kropczynski, J., Grace, R., Coche, J., Halse, S., Obeysekare, E., Montarnal, A., … & Tapia, A. (2018). Identifying actionable information on social media for emergency dispatch. Proceedings of the ISCRAM Asia Pacific, 11. Link: https://idl.iscram.org/files/jesskropczynski/2018/1672_JessKropczynski_etal2018.pdf 
June 2Fire/Paramedic PresentationsCrisis Intervention by Social Workers in Fire Departments: An Innovative Role for Social Workers https://www.jstor.org/stable/23718993 A Social Work Approach: Working with EMS Providers https://pdhtherapy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Website-File-for-Working-with-EMS-providers.pdf   
June 9Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement – Dr. Gilmartin Group Activity
June 16Chaplaincy, Social Work and First Responders’ Mental HealthPolice Social Work in Emergency Response Situations https://online.maryville.edu/blog/police-social-worker-emergency-response/ Police social work and community policing https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23311886.2016.1212636 SRU social work students interning with local police departments https://www.sru.edu/news/092220b   
June 23Resiliency a. MHFA, ASIST b. Operating Mind (R2MR) c. Promotional initiatives d. Peer support e. Return to Work Programs f. CISM/CISDSupporting Mental Health in First Responders: Recommended Practices. https://bcfirstrespondersmentalhealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Recommended-Practices-for-Supporting-Mental-Health-in-First-Responders-170615.pdf Mental Health Awareness: Self-Care for First Responders https://emond.ca/Store/Books/Mental-Health-Awareness-Self-Care-for-First-Respon Peer Support and Crisis-Focused Psychological Intervention Programs in Canadian First Responders: https://www.justiceandsafety.ca/rsu_docs/blue_paper_full_web_final_production_aug_16_2016.pdf  Research Paper

Here are some resources we compiled to support first responders. Please let us know what type of resources you are interested and we will compile them for future classes:

MHFRMP Websites


MHFRMP Social Media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

MHFRMP Youtube Playlist   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5F9cEOaCV8&list=PLBkb7GcuZ8m_gb7deDe396gjdwzLOUZQ3&ab_channel=CalSouthernPSYCHOLOGY  

Facebook groups to support first responders: https://docs.google.com/document/d/147_isJvYCsP6JLZhU1F6H2-RzpURk0Q5U7v9gT83Wcw/edit?usp=sharing 

Podcasts for first responders and their supporters. 

Please feel free to add your favourite resources to the lists so we can build the resource database together

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