Behavioral health assistance, treatment and therapy should be provided through the individual’s health insurance plan or through the department’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Counseling services can help promote a well balanced life to uniformed personnel on a wide variety of issues. Having resources and a program available to uniformed personnel will help to establish a holistic approach to establishing and maintaining a healthy mind-body connection, which will assist in having a well-balanced, high-performing individual in the work place. Having access to comprehensive counseling services is an integral part of the Wellness-Fitness Initiative, as well as many of the performance-based issues that exist in the fire service.

An EAP is essentially a cost effective, humanitarian, job-based strategy to help individuals whose personal problems impact their work performance. Such programs are designed to assist with identifying and resolving problems that are associated with an individual’s occupation. The EAP should be incorporated into the concept of total wellness and address potential concerns specific to the fire service. An effective EAP can restore the uniformed personnel to a healthy and fully productive life, improve employee morale, and increase the productivity of the entire department.

Assistance programs can address a wide range of issues pertaining to the health and well-being of active and retired uniformed personnel, as well as their families. The scope of problems an EAP deals with may include areas such as: substance abuse issues; addictive behaviors; stress; marital concerns; family and child issues; domestic violence; anger managment; legal and financial problems; critical incident stress (including post-traumatic stress disorder); cumulative stress; workplace violence; and dealth/grief counseling.

The table below includes a brief summary of each department’s EAP program.

AustinYesIn-house Psychologist
CalgaryYesContracted Facility and Physician – Dr. of Psychology
CharlotteYesIn-house Psychologist
Fairfax CountyYesExternal program; self and supervisor-suggested referral, or supervisor-performance referral
IndianapolisYesContracted – White River Psychology
Los Angeles CountyYesFire Fighter on own
Metro Dade CountyN/AN/A
New York CityYesIn house Counseling Services Unit (CSU)
PhoenixYesFamily counseling
Alcohol and drug abuse counseling
Friends Helping Friends Program
SeattleYesCity EAP
24 hour access to two SFD Chaplains for emergency support
CarrolltonYesProvided by Workforce Services Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Council BluffsYesCity has an EAP program that members can be referred to or contact on their own
LewistonYesContracted Mental Health Provider
MesaYesDepartment Chaplain, CISM team and Employee Assistance Program
NarragansettYesEAP available through the town of Narragansett
Orange CountyYesOn own or referred by Management
PortlandYesExtensive training upon hire and as needed
Port MoodyYesFire Department Padre available 24 hrs/365 days
EAP Program managed by Interlock
Prince George’s CountyYesEAP Program
Education in station
San DiegoYesN/A
Snohomish CountyYesBehavioral Health Evaluation
Tualatin ValleyYesEAP program managed by Reliant Behavioral Health