FIRST RESPONDER Initiative FAQ
our most frequent questions and answers
This is a series of training programs to support the emotional health of MN’s Fire, Police, Dispatch and EMS services. It is available to all first responders who work for or volunteer with Minnesota emergency response services. First responders do not need to be a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota subscriber to access the program which will be provided at no cost to first responders and their families.
These program offerings were developed with significant input from a diverse group of first responders throughout the state of MN to include training for:
- New recruits/new employees
- Families & Children
- Those already in the job
- Behavioral Health providers wanting to gain competency in serving first responders
Training and skill building focuses on reducing mental health stigma, suicide, understanding the common effects of first responder work, signs and symptoms to look out for and ways to protect against the emotional hazards of the job. Trainings are designed to be practical, informative, and fun (yes, fun).
This initiative is being led by Dr. Margaret Gavian. Dr. Gavian is a licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota and received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. For over 20 years, she has worked with a variety of populations who have experienced extreme stress including in Israel, Gaza, Kosovo, with the FDNY after 9/11, refugees, gang members, firefighters & police, school shooting communities, as well as with executives, professionals, teachers and those with a variety of chronic medical conditions. Gavian founded Blue Peak Consulting in 2012. She has previously held leadership positions in healthcare, designing and delivering care for health systems and has served as a consultant and trainer to community and healthcare organizations nationwide. Through offering professional training to providers and public safety agencies, to leaders and first responders, Blue Peak addresses stress, trauma and other life challenges at their source with compassion and practical solutions.
Gavian partnered with a diverse group of first responders representing Police, Fire, Dispatch and EMS to create this training initiative.
For more information on Dr. Gavian or Blue Peak Consulting CLICK HERE.
Resilient and emotionally healthy first responders mean a healthier workforce, reduction of turnover, and better outcomes for your department and community. This program will:
- Help participants understand where they’re currently at and what tactics they need to deploy in order to ensure their emotional safety
- Provide members simple strategies to protect themselves from the emotional hazards of the job
- Reduce the mental health stigma by explaining the biological reality and effects of the job
- Teach what to do when or if stress starts to pile up