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Mental Health: Self-Care for First Responders, 2nd Edition

June 17, 2022  By Matt Stuart

Photo credit: Emond Publishing

By Stephanie Miloknay and Marc Laferriere

ISBN: 9781774620878

Navigating one’s personal challenges related to mental health can be very difficult and confusing, especially when it reaches a point where you need to ask for assistance. As the training lead for mental health, de-escalation and crisis resolution in the Incident Response Training Unit within the Toronto Police College, I have refined my skills in crisis intervention over the past 22 years, responding to calls for service as a front-line officer, a mobile crisis intervention officer and a tactical officer. I understand all too well the issues that come from cumulative stress and compassion fatigue, the results of responding to numerous critical incidents. It is for this reason that I was excited at the opportunity to review Mental Health: Self-Care for First Responders, 2nd Edition.

Mental Health: Self-Care for First Responders provides first responders with an awareness and a brief understanding of where they are on the personal mental health spectrum in order to ask the appropriate questions of themselves or a mental health professional. This will, in turn, assist individuals in establishing a personal self-care plan for themselves by utilizing the fantastic tools provided in the “Self-Care Plan” section of this text. The many examples and personal stories shared in this edition of the book provide a very empathetic approach to the overall material, supplying context and an opportunity for readers to relate to the examples, assuring them that they are not alone and helping them to understand that what they may be feeling or experiencing is normal. I applaud the many contributors in this text for sharing their experiences.

I am very impressed with this text and encourage all first responders to obtain a copy for personal self-reflection. I further recommend that front-line emergency training academies and all police services consider using this text to inform or instruct all staff.

– Matt Stuart (Instructor), Toronto Police Service and Toronto Police College

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