Excuses…

By Vanessa Stapleton – President Armor Up West Virginia

I answer calls for first responders in crisis. I do that because at one time it was our family in crisis. Coming out on the other side gives me hope to share with others. More and more, what I find is that people sometimes don’t want help as much as they want a magic cure. There is no “magic” cure. When you are in a crisis, it is possible to do the work to get out of the crisis. Unfortunately, and especially more recently, people want us to do the work for them. When they learn that overcoming their problems will require work on their end, they don’t want the “help” anymore. Why is that?

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Should First Responders Try & Find Their Own Resources?

By Vanessa Stapleton – President Armor Up West Virginia

Organizations like Safe Call Now (the national crisis hotline for first responders and their families) and Serve and Protect (which offers trauma services to first responders and their families) have been around for over a decade. They have been helping first responders, confidentially, find the best help in the country longer than most first responders have been working. They know which programs work, and also which programs are not as effective.

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I Am Not Ashamed…

By Vanessa Stapleton – President Armor Up West Virginia

We have an entire month dedicated to mental health awareness, yet we lose more first responders to suicide than we do line of duty. We could all give our best educated guesses as to why we are losing so many to suicide. I could even give you my many thoughts on this, such as: stigma, lack of resources, lack of access to these resources, insurance that doesn’t want to cover treatment (West Virginia specifically), and financial inability to afford the few resources that are accessible.

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