PeerConnect App providing first responders with mental health support
May 18, 2023 By Blue Line Staff
May 18, 2023 – With an increase in partnerships with first responders, corrections and health care organizations across Canada and the US, First Response Mental Health is celebrating the fourth anniversary of the mobile app PeerConnect this week.
The PeerConnect App is a first responder wellness app that offers a proactive Peer Support system that aims to ensure all members are checked in on after every traumatic event. Any member utilizing the system can create their own trusted peer support team made up of peers who are trained to offer support within 10 minutes of a request for assistance on a 24/7 basis. PeerConnect then organizes follow-ups to ensure no one walks alone.
‘Trust and stigma is often an issue with any Mental health situation. Our unique process allows Users to create their own personal support team with the choice of who they feel comfortable connecting with well before any trauma occurs. The goal is to ensure that no employee has to face difficult times alone,” said Kevin Kuchta, CEO, First Response Mental Health.
First Response Mental Health (FRMH) developed the digital solution, PeerConnect in collaboration with Superior North EMS, and other first responder departments. The Peer Support Coordinator at Superior North EMS was overwhelmed with the task of managing and tracking peer support connections, as well as ensuring all employees had access to up-to-date resources at all times.
“As a department, we had suffered significant setbacks due to loss of staff to mental health-related issues, and were seeking to revamp the way our wellness and peer team programming functioned. In particular, we wanted to focus on being proactive, but lacked the processes and tools to achieve this. The PeerConnect platform met those challenges and exceeded them,” said Jonathan Woodbeck, Superior North EMS
The PeerConnect system represents a step forward in the way that organizations respond to traumatic events and support their employees through scheduled check-ins based on the type of traumatic event, recommended check-ins after specific incidents and self-initiated check-ins.
“We understand the rising pressures faced by our first responders, frontline workers and their families. When you commit to connect, you’re taking a proactive approach that enables your community to live healthier, more supported lives,” said Kuchta.
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