Being Open About Mental Health Issues

I am so very thankful for the First Responder Foundation and the platform they gave me to tell my story. Helping First Responders By Being Open About Trials & Troubles was the first blog post written by Police Officer Stephen.

After that article was posted, my wife and I were given the opportunity to go on two separate podcasts, and the number of messages I received was astounding. The number one question I got, however, was “How can I help”? So that got me thinking. What can we do to help our brothers and sisters to be open about mental health issues?

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The American Legion Riders Post 374 Supports JAVELAN in Significant Ways

The First Responders Foundation is honored to be inducting The American Legion Riders Post 374 Millard NE into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael at the 5th Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor on September 10, 2021. 

Each year the First Responders Foundation selects community members and/or organizations to induct into the Ancient Order of Saint Florian and Saint Michael. This honor is reserved for those who have provided long-term and exceptional service to first responders, veterans, and their families through their enduring and exceptional acts of financial giving or acts of selfless volunteerism. 

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Helping First Responders By Being Open About Trials and Troubles

In his own words from Police Officer Stephen:

And I thought to myself that if any of those people had been open about their trials and troubles, it would have made this journey so much easier for me….

When I was a small child I looked at police officers as heroes. Strong men and women that were always there when we needed them. I remember living in an apartment as a small child, and this one officer used to run radar right by my building. Spent countless days talking to him, bringing him some of my Halloween candy, asking a million and one questions. I was that annoying kid. But God, they were superheroes. 

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Law Enforcement Jiu-Jitsu Training at the FRF

Brian Bonifas Brings Law Enforcement Jiu-Jitsu Training to FRF

Our newest addition to the First Responders Foundation, Brian Bonifas, brings a unique approach to fulfilling our mission, “To serve and honor all our First Responders, Veterans, and their families, build appreciation and respect for their work and enhance public safety.” Brian is teaching Law Enforcement Jiu-Jitsu Training with the goal of keeping officers safe and providing non-violent control options during arrest situations in the greater Omaha area.

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What about First Responders Mental Health Needs?

 Talking to First Responders about THEIR Mental Health Awareness

May is mental health awareness month.  You probably don’t need anyone to tell you there are mental health needs out there—you see it every day in the public. There are hospitals and therapists and doctors to help people.  And it’s also your job to help people, and you do it every day.

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Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors Save Lives!

If you’ve ever wondered how important smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in homes, here are some life-saving examples.  These are devices we most often take for granted.

Francisco and Fidela needed a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector. They reached out to their son, Captain Lara of the Omaha Fire Department. They fit the criteria for eligibility to receive the detector from the First Responders Foundation and the Omaha Fire Department by owning their home and being physically or financially unable to provide it themselves. The Omaha Fire Department made a visit to their home and installed the detector in their living room.

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FRST Suicide Prevention Training

The First Responders Support Team (FRST) specializes in working with first responders on behavioral health issues and Suicide Prevention training.

Co-Director of the FRST Team, clinician Stephanie Levy, shares how the First Responders Foundation has been working with local first responders over the last year and a half, how barriers are being broken, and how progress is being made to help prevent suicide in this demographic.

Unfortunately, first responders are statistically more apt to die by suicide than on the job, or in the line of duty.

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Stronger Together

Stronger Together is the goal of the workshop with the same name that the First Responders Support Team (FRST) offers to first responders and their significant others.

Kevin and Kay Erickson are both first responders. Kevin is a Detective in the Youth Bureau, for the Sioux City, IA, Police Department. Kay is currently a Nurse Practitioner in Internal Medicine at St. Lukes Hospital in Sioux City and has been an emergency room nurse.

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How Can I Help & Support Police/First Responders?

This has been an inspirational week at the First Responders Foundation.  There have been countless calls and emails from concerned citizens asking, how can I help?

  • How can I help support the police and first responders in the metro area?
  • Can I show support and appreciation for all they are doing to protect our rights and for the safety of our community?

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The Distance Project

While out shopping for necessities over the last few weeks, Luke Steiner made an observation.  He noticed that many people were not following the new social guidelines to stay 6 feet apart.  Even in stores that were attempting to make it easy, it was obvious to Luke it was not getting done.  Luke was shopping at Trader Joes where only 35 people are allowed in the store at a time.  “I was doing my best to stay away from people, but others were not following the guidelines to stay 6 feet apart like you think everyone would,”  Luke said.

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