First responders are always helping others, coming to the aid of the communities they serve and making sure everyone has what they need when they need it. They know this is their job, and they do it well. But even those whose job is to serve others can use some support themselves.
Summit Behavioral Health will help first responders who need a place to address their mental and physical health needs and restore themselves. If you or someone you know has a substance misuse issue, we can help them enter a recovery program as soon as possible. We proudly offer our First Responder Treatment Service to anyone who answers the call to care for others’ needs. It’s our turn to take care of those who always take care of us.
With the coronavirus pandemic and other daily pressures going on, life can be challenging for emergency medical service workers, firefighters, and police officers, just to name a few. When they are caught up in the day-to-day, they can put checking in with themselves to the side and not deal with the hardships that take a toll on their mental and emotional health.
Stressful Jobs Can Lead to Mental Health Disorders, SUDs
As the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes, “first responders are always on the front line facing highly stressful and risky calls.” As a result of job-related stress, sadness, overwhelm, and burnout, among other things, they can have:
- Anxiety disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Suicide/suicide ideation
- Substance abuse issues/substance use disorders (SUDs)
Summit Behavioral Health’s program offers first responders flexible and comprehensive services to help them manage their rotating work schedules and long hours, which can be challenging to cope with in a high-pressure job. We also create a customized treatment plan that focuses on each client’s unique physical and mental wellness needs.
Our clinical services include:
- Confidential individual therapy
- Private Specialized Peer Groups
- Clinical and Peer Process Groups
- Case management for work-related issues
- First responders-specific 12-step education
- Family involvement
- Comprehensive evaluations
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Emotion regulation techniques
- Relapse prevention education
- Co-occurring disorders: PTSD, trauma, anxiety, depression
- Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)
You Can Choose from Three Types of Outpatient Programs
The First Responder Treatment Service wants to ensure you return to work feeling your best. If you use drugs, alcohol, or other substances to cope with trauma-related stressors, we can help you find healthy ways to cope with the mental and emotional disturbances you are coping with. After we assess your needs, we could recommend the following treatment settings for you based on your needs:
Partial Hospitalization (Partial Care)
Partial hospitalization, also known as partial care, partial day programs, or PHP, is a type of outpatient program that offers intensive care on-site at a facility but doesn’t require the client to stay overnight. They can live at home or another facility while commuting to a treatment facility for therapy.
The moderately structured program can require 20 or more hours a week and last about 30 days. Clients may have to receive treatment for five hours for three to five days during the week. Usually, clients in a PHP have completed higher levels of substance abuse treatment, such as medical detox and a residential program, and regained enough medical stability that allows them to live in a less restrictive setting.
PHP can help first responders in recovery from substance misuse. It can also help them:
- Learn to manage a dual diagnosis of having a substance use disorder and mental health disorder together at the same time
- Avoid relapse and receive support to stay the course
- Take their medication as prescribed during medical monitoring
- Stick to their resolve to remain sober when their living environment does not support their sobriety goals
What Happens in PHP?
Our PHP clients attend sessions that promote sobriety and overall health and wellness. They can attend individual and/or group therapy meetings where they discuss various recovery-related topics, such as:
- Relapse prevention strategies
- Anger management
- Health and wellness
- Addiction education
- Life skills and strategies
After a client is finished with partial hospitalization, they can move on from this level of care to an intensive patient program or an outpatient program.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and Outpatient Program (OP) Treatment
Clients who enter our outpatient programs can expect to receive the same level of attention and care as we offer in our partial care program. This form of outpatient treatment provides schedule flexibility and lower costs because clients can stay home and commute for treatment. IOP clients can receive nine or more hours of therapy and services every week, while a person in outpatient treatment will receive fewer than nine hours. We offer these programs during the day, evening, or weekends. You can receive outpatient treatment for at least 90 days.
All of our outpatient programs offer:
- A treatment plan created for you and your needs
- Individual therapy sessions
- Group therapy sessions
- Family counseling
- 12-step programs
- Relapse prevention plan
- Ongoing support
IOPs Generally Have Two Core Phases
Intensive outpatient programs can consist of two core stages. The first stage is known as the treatment engagement stage, which keeps clients focused on staying in the program. The second phase involves the “early recovery” phase. It is structured to include educational activities and group work that helps clients gain the skills they need to abstain from substance use and stay true to their recovery goals.
Clients can also join support groups such as 12-step fellowships to ensure they find the support they need for the journey ahead. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are examples of such groups.
OPs Are Less Structured Than PHPs, IOPs
Clients who attend outpatient programs for fewer than nine hours usually have a less-structured program. Still, they receive counseling, a medical check-in, and educational sessions during their time for the week. Outpatient clients can expect:
- To attend one to two weekly sessions
- To participate in a long-term outpatient program that lasts up to six months or longer
- To be solely responsible for their recovery
- Fewer costs than more intensive outpatient programs
First Responders Can Find Help at Summit Behavioral Health
Summit Behavioral Health welcomes first responders to come to us so we can help them move forward in optimal health and wellness. Our peer support liaison, David Oppmann, is ready to reach out to first responders looking for guidance and encouragement to make a new start.
Oppmann is an Operation Desert Storm veteran, a former emergency medical technician (EMT), and a retired 25-year corrections officer, and a former president of PBA Local 199. He understands first responders’ challenges and what kinds of peer support our community’s first responders need.
Call us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you today.