Charlotte Fire enters the US Veterans Hall of Fame to prevent suicide

With alarms going off all the time at a fire station, firefighters often don’t have time to process one bad experience before they have to face the next.

“Our peer support team has all been through something very difficult and each of them has diverse experiences to share and some have suffered unspeakably,” Starnes said. “But each of them has the guts to go in and listen and say, ‘I know how you feel,’ and mean it.”

Therapy can be a powerful tool to restore or maintain mental health. Discussing difficult experiences and emotions with a trained therapist can be difficult, but not processing them can make those experiences and emotions last longer.

In addition to the peer-to-peer support team, Charlotte Fire employees have a variety of behavioral health resources available to them. From the Employee Assistance Program, which offers confidential and free services, to the North Carolina Firefighter Peer Support Network and more, promoting healthy mental well-being is Charlotte Fire Chief Reginald Johnson’s top priority.

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