It’s OK to ask for mental health help – with or without a crisis

Most of us have probably felt the strain of our job or the difficulty of balancing the fire service with other areas of our lives. It’s easy to try to muscle through it knowing we have an important job helping others and keeping them safe. However, there comes a point where we need to let others help us. And it doesn’t need to be a crisis to reach that point.

With May as Mental Health Awareness Month, we at MnFIRE want to make sure all fire service members know the resources available to those of us in the field. Through the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program (HHAP), every active firefighter in the state – full-time, part-time, paid-on-call or volunteer – has access to mental health support – all free!

It comes through the MnFIRE Assistance Program (MAP), one of the three elements of the HHAP. In the fire service, we encounter unique emotional and mental stresses. We need people who understand the distinct and specific stresses and challenges we encounter. This program focuses on providing mental health care specifically to us – firefighters and our families. And it doesn’t matter the size of the help needed, whether through a big crisis or a small issue, the MAP program can steer us in the right direction. There are two ways to access help – calling 888-784-6634 or visiting www.mnfireinitiative.com/hhap/#MAP.

One of the best parts about this program is having it available to our families. Our time in the fire service affects them, too. They have their own unique set of stressors. Any member of a firefighter’s household, including children living away from home, can access the interactive website or contact a trained specialist. Each firefighter and/or their family members can receive up to five counseling visits a year with additional support ensured as needed.

No call or inquiry is too small. Simply look at the website or dial the phone. There is someone there to talk you through what is available. If something major happened in your life or if you’re just feeling stressed, the MAP program is here to help.

Another great part of MAP is the peer support program where firefighters are paired with a trained peer supporter who knows firsthand the difficulties firefighters face. They are fellow fire service members in Minnesota who are there to lend a listening ear or offer support, all completely anonymous. They are well-equipped to walk alongside us as we encounter life at the firehall, on calls and beyond.

We don’t need to muscle through challenges alone. There are people ready and willing to help no matter the size of the problem. It doesn’t need to be a crisis to ask for mental health help.

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NEW at the 2023 Firefighter Health Forum: Training for fire service spouses and significant others!

Take part in an educational track expressly designed to give you the tools, skills and perspective needed to make smart decisions about your family’s physical and mental health. Learn how to best support the health and well-being of your loved one – and navigate potential issues that can arise when you have a firefighter in your family. Register at: mnfireinitiative.com/firefighter-health-forum/

Don't want to attend alone? Have your firefighter partner register for another one of our tracks and make a weekend out of it at Grand Casino Mille Lacs!
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NEW at the 2023 Firefighter Health Forum: Training for fire service spouses and significant others!

Take part in an educational track expressly designed to give you the tools, skills and perspective needed to make smart decisions about your family’s physical and mental health. Learn how to best support the health and well-being of your loved one – and navigate potential issues that can arise when you have a firefighter in your family. Register at: https://mnfireinitiative.com/firefighter-health-forum/

Dont want to attend alone? Have your firefighter partner register for another one of our tracks and make a weekend out of it at Grand Casino Mille Lacs!

Support is all around you with the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program.

No matter where you are in Minnesota, if you're a firefighter (volunteer, paid-on-call, part-time or full-time), you can access free benefits like an up-to-$20,000 Critical Illness insurance policy, confidential mental health counseling and ongoing health and wellness training. Learn more at mnfireinitiative.com/hhap/.
... See MoreSee Less

Support is all around you with the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program. 

No matter where you are in Minnesota, if youre a firefighter (volunteer, paid-on-call, part-time or full-time), you can access free benefits like an up-to-$20,000 Critical Illness insurance policy, confidential mental health counseling and ongoing health and wellness training. Learn more at https://mnfireinitiative.com/hhap/.

Your gift this Give to the Max Day will make a real impact on the lives of your local hometown heroes, providing them with the tools they need to prioritize and protect themselves against cardiac issues, emotional trauma and cancer.

Thank you for supporting them today at www.givemn.org/Mnfire! #GTMD22
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Your gift this Give to the Max Day will make a real impact on the lives of your local hometown heroes, providing them with the tools they need to prioritize and protect themselves against cardiac issues, emotional trauma and cancer. 

Thank you for supporting them today at https://www.givemn.org/Mnfire! #GTMD22

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Donated and matched in memory of the one and only Spencer Conrad today ❤️ Thank you for all that you do!

Minnesota firefighters need your help on Give to the Max Day! #GTMD22

If you donate $75 or more today to help us reach our $10,000 goal, we'll send you a MnFIRE mug or winter hat! Give $200 or more and you'll receive a cozy MnFIRE blanket as a special thank-you for supporting Minnesota firefighter health!

www.givemn.org/Mnfire
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Minnesota firefighters need your help on Give to the Max Day! #GTMD22

If you donate $75 or more today to help us reach our $10,000 goal, well send you a MnFIRE mug or winter hat! Give $200 or more and youll receive a cozy MnFIRE blanket as a special thank-you for supporting Minnesota firefighter health!

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