I’m proud to be a member of the Fire Service Psychology Association (FSPA) where, with other fire service leaders and psychologists, we’re working to “build a bridge between professional psychology and the fire Service.” We believe that the primary support elements for that “bridge” are:
- Developing culturally competent mental health clinicians who understand what firefighters do, why they do it, under what conditions they do it, and the job stressors that can have a negative impact on a firefighter’s mental health and job performance.
- Developing culturally competent firefighters and fire officers who understand what psychologists do, how they can help individuals and organizations, and what their limitations are (e.g., legal requirements and professional ethics) to eradicate the stigma in fire service culture that prevents firefighters and officers from seeking professional care for their mental health issues.
White Paper: Fire Service Cultural Competency Program. This white paper describes the program that FSPA has developed to train mental health professionals to be culturally competent regarding the fire service. https://www.fireemsleaderpro.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2023/07/20230707_Fire-Service-Cultural-Competency-Program.pdf
Position Paper: Fire Service Psychology. In this position paper, FSPA Founder and President, Kristen Wheldon, lays out what fire service leaders and mental health practitioners must work together on to create a Fire Service Psychology discipline.
White Paper: Trauma Risk Management: A Data-Driven Solution to the Post Traumatic Stress Problem
in the United States Fire Service? Kristen Wheldon Psy.D. and Battalion Chief (Ret.) Robert Avsec outline how Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) should be the next step in peer support programs assisting firefighters following exposure to mental health risks.