In public safety, first responders provide physical backup -- but in the wake of a crisis, they also need to provide each other with emotional backup. A conference set for early 2014 will help provide those "peer support" tools to public-safety employees, first responders, clergy, and mental-health professionals involved in the emergency responder community.
On February 12-14, 2014, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office will present its second Northwest Peer Support Conference at its Public Safety Training Center.
"Peer support" is a mental-health resource for law-enforcement and their families. In a Peer Support program, teams of fellow sworn and non-sworn personnel provide confidential emotional backup -- including discussions, debriefings, and education -- following emotionally taxing critical incidents. A "critical incident" can be anything outside the range of normal experience -- including officer-involved shootings, responding to accident scenes, stressful divorces, and lawsuits. These confidential counseling support groups are provided for under ORS 181.860.
The Northwest Peer Support Conference is designed to educate members of public-safety peer-support teams in a variety of crisis-related issues -- as well as providing guidance for those interested in starting a peer-support team.
Again, presenters and attendees will include public safety employees, first responders, clergy, and mental-health professionals involved in the emergency responder community.
Conference sessions are set to include "Emotional Body Armor: Breaking Free from the Bonds of the Badge," "Got Change? Practical Approaches for Dealing with Change in the Ever-Changing Workplace," "Emotional First Aid," "Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing in the Treatment of Trauma," "Biology of Trauma," "From Trauma to Addiction," "Professional Resilience: Be Your Best Under Pressure and After Incidents," and "Developing Peer Teams and Resilient Leaders: Creating the Culture of Behavioral Health in the First Response Professions."
For more information on the conference or to register, click here.
Robert Wurpes, Sergeant
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office