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April 29th - Ottawa First Responders Day Coming May 1st

In celebration of our Ottawa First Responders, we will be sharing stories of first responders and launching a campaign of awareness around this day to celebrate our first responders.

Did you know?

· First responders are much less likely to reach retirement than the average Canadian. This high attrition rate, especially in paramedics, is linked to the mental health demands placed on responders and their families.

· PTSD doesn’t harm just first responders who develop it: it can have unintended consequences for their families and co-workers.

· About 45 percent of Canadian first responders have symptoms consistent with at least one mental health disorder.

How can the public support first responders?

· Say Hi and smile

· Heart Window Campaign - print off or make your own version of our heart logo to stick in the window of your home to show your support for Ottawa First Responders (PDF available on our site)

· Ask any first responders you know how they are doing and be an open ear if they need to talk

· If you notice shifts in their behavior, encourage them to reach out (see our resource list on our site).

· When not in isolation, attend or host events in support of first responders and their mental health

· Donate to the Ottawa First Responders Foundation

How are we supporting first responders?

Our focus is on augmenting the services that already exist for Ottawa First Responders, but also extending that support to retiree, veterans and families of first responders.

Currently, we are:

· Forming Peer 2 Peer Support groups

· Building connection within the three services

· Creating clinician network access for mental health support

· Assisting members find their wellness paths through supporting informed clinical and evidence-based programming

· Planning a physical Wellness Centre for first responders and their families

Thank the first responders around you! Happy First Responders Day!

#ottfrf, #May1strespondersday

In this Family, No One Stands Alone

Visit www.ottawafrf.ca/may1 for more details.

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©2019 by Jan Harder.