Welcome to the First Responder
MINDFULNESS AND RESILIENCY RESOURCE CENTER
Take a seat.
Now you're ready to start meditating. That's (almost) all there is to it.
Living in the moment? It may feel like you already do, and not on a good way. Rushing from home to work and from scene to scene without a minute to pause is part of the problem; you don't need a neuroscientist to point out the cumulative effects of this stress.
But mindfulness-based stress reduction - literally practicing the pause and centering yourself - has been the subject of hundreds of studies, showing that it helps decrease stress, anxiety, anger, and depression - all of which haunt emergency workers at higher rates than the general population.
What meditation is: nonjudgmental awareness of your experience in the moment
What meditation is not: the ultimate path to enlightenment, unicorns and clouds
Let's take a look at the science and research. Mindfulness meditation offers some pretty great stuff for first responders...does any of this sound like something you want?
Decreases stress on the cardiovascular system
Improves sleep patterns
Reduces depression and anxiety
The simplest form of meditation involves sitting in a comfortable chair or lying on a bed or couch. Some people choose to close their eyes. We encourage you to make a small time commitment and choose a practice that's low maintenance for you. It takes dedication over time, but the benefits can touch every aspect of your life.
New to meditation or need more convincing? The perfect place to start is this article for law enforcement and emergency responders. “It’s not about going to your happy place. This is not la-la lightweight nonsense."
FREE MEDITATION APPS
This app has been downloaded over three million times and is highly rated.
A great meditation app for beginners and advanced; check out 'Sleep Stories.'
Designed to help you train your mind and body for a healthier, happier life.
Depression and Anxiety
Prevention works, treatment is effective, and people do recover.
You can too.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. The highest rate is among middle-aged white men.
Suicide numbers among first responders are much worse.
Help comes when you call for it - you know that better than anyone.
Anxiety and PTSD
We know from studies in both the US and Canada that first responders also have elevated rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and alcohol use disorder when compared to the general population.
Finding a way to cope with trauma and the symptoms of stress with mental health support and solution-focused counseling has been shown to be hugely successful.
Learn more about First Responder-specific PTSD here