After The Shooting…

By Vanessa Stapleton – President Armor Up West Virginia

Almost daily, I was made aware of an officer being injured or shot somewhere in the US. I am in many groups across the country where I would see the news of yet another officer critically injured. Being a wife and mother, I used to pray that these officer’s would survive. I imagined the spouse and children were an average family like us and prayed these officers would make it home to them. I was naive then. It wasn’t until our own shooting that I was awakened to the nightmare known as “after the shooting.”

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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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A Day In The Life Of A First Responder In Treatment

By Vanessa Stapleton – President Armor Up West Virginia

Mental health disorders and addiction are some of the most pressing issues facing the public health system today. Some people are at a greater risk of developing these conditions than others, such as individuals who are exposed to traumatic events. This includes first responders; the first people to show up at the scene of a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or serious crime.

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