Our Program Components

Behavioral Health Services for Responders and Families

Accessing mental health resources and services for yourself or a family member may be difficult, overwhelming, and time consuming. We offer professional and peer led behavioral health navigation services with the goal of guiding first responders through and around barriers in the complex mental health system.

When appropriate, we offer direct outpatient counseling services, with both telehealth and in person options for certain geographic locations. Our team of first responder proficient, behavioral health experts use evidence-based approaches to treating concerns common among first responders, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance concerns, and more. These services are free of charge for NW FL first responders and their family members and are not affiliated with any EAP or commercial insurance carrier. To learn more about navigation or make an appointment for outpatient services, call 850-480-9314 or click here. The 2nd Alarm Project line is not a crisis hotline. If you or someone you know is having a mental health emergency, including thoughts of harming themselves or others, please call 9-1-1 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

*note currently our funding supports no cost outpatient services for first responders and family members who live or work in the following Florida Panhandle counties: Bay, Calhoun, Dixie, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Leon, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwanee, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington.

Peer Support and Critical Incident Response

Peer support is the heart of a resilient first responder organization. The 2nd Alarm Project supports departments in building peer support teams, facilitates initial training and continuing education for members, and assists with clinical direction and oversight of teams.

Our professional staff work to ensure team members in our region have access to the tools and resources needed to carry out their vital role. We partner with several established, first responder proficient, evidence-based organizations to deliver training and continuing education (see our acknowledgements page for more info). 2nd Alarm Project also offers additional training to prepare peer team members to serve as peer navigators, assisting fellow first responders to identify and obtain needed external resources. We are equipped to respond to a variety of critical incidents/disasters and that may occur within our region- including deploying trained peer team members and licensed clinicians in certain situations and linking in with statewide resources for deployments to larger multi-region events. For more information on our peer support capacity building initiatives or critical incident response contact us.

Education and Mental Health Literacy Resources

The 2nd Alarm project has developed a variety of both in-person and digital educational resources for first responders, family members, and clinicians wishing to serve our community.

You can access our digital materials by downloading our app or visiting the Tactical Resiliency Toolkit tab (available Fall 2022). Our face-to-face classes include in-service workshops for responders, academy/recruits/cadets, and company officers/command staff. Each of our trainings is customized to the public safety discipline in attendance at the class. We also offer a workshop for first responder families. To schedule a face-to-face workshop, click here. We also provide workshops to provider groups wishing to increase cultural competency in working with responders. In addition to our proprietary educational materials, we support and partner with several other organizations who deliver evidence-based curricula for first responders and clinicians (see acknowledgements page).

*note- our 3 hour mental health awareness class for the fire service is approved for CEUs through FCDICE/ FL State Fire College. Contact us for details.

First Responder Leadership Resources

Leadership in first responder organizations possesses a powerful opportunity to create culture shifts to reduce stigma regarding behavioral health and advance early prevention and intervention by identifying members who may be struggling and linking them into appropriate resources.

Through leadership development workshops and other resources, the 2nd Alarm Project helps leaders identify strategies to address behavioral health issues to improve mission readiness, preserve the force, and improve the long-term health of members, families, and retirees. Historically, first responder organizations have primarily offered behavioral health interventions through Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) or commercial insurance carriers. These programs are necessary but may prove insufficient to meet the scope and needs of trauma-exposed first responders and their families. A Behavioral Health Access Program, or BHAP, is a comprehensive and operationalized plan which clearly specifies the mental health services first responders and families need, where those services are available within their communities, and levels and standards of care that are expected in the provision of these services. The BHAP is becoming a world standard of behavioral health care for first responders. While some agencies are beginning to create BHAP guides, developing and implementing a BHAP can be time-consuming and overwhelming, particularly for departments with limited internal and external resources. The 2nd Alarm Project has created and implemented a successful framework for strategic planning to develop and implement comprehensive BHAPs in first responder organizations. Our strategic planning framework also provides first responder organizations with tools to facilitate best practice implementation and policy development for behavioral health. We also provide tools and resources for programs to systematically evaluate the impact (or return on investment) of their current behavioral health programs.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

This product was supported [in part] by grant number H79FG000149 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The content does not necessarily reflect the views or polices of SAMHSA or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).