Now Introducing: The MnFIRE PeerConnect App

Firefighting is a strenuous job – physically, mentally and emotionally. Call after call, year after year, the stress can add up and lead to detrimental effects, especially for a firefighter’s mental health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 13% of firefighters screened positive for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 53% screened positive for both anxiety and depression separately.

With the Minnesota Firefighter Initiative (MnFIRE), help is out there. In fact, it’s at your fingertips with the MnFIRE PeerConnect app. In May, the MnFIRE PeerConnect app launched as yet another free health and wellness resource for Minnesota firefighters and their families. It was developed in partnership with First Response Mental Health, an organization that specializes in the stressors that first responders are exposed to, and the support systems in place to protect and support them.

The app, now available to download from both the Apple App Store and Google Play by searching “MnFIRE PeerConnect”, provides users the ability to easily request confidential Peer Support in two easy ways: immediately dial in or request a call back.

Unique to this platform is the opportunity to preview peer supporter profiles and personally select the person you’d like to talk to directly. While all of MnFIRE’s trained peer supporters are ready to lend a listening ear or offer support, this selection can make all the difference in the comfort level of a firefighter asking for help.

In addition, the app serves up a unique feed of firefighter health and wellness information. When you download the app, you immediately gain access to a library of articles and resources focused on improving firefighter health and wellness, all curated and created by MnFIRE’s knowledgeable experts.

The MnFIRE PeerConnect app is another step towards reducing the stigma of asking for help in the fire service. Talking about the challenges we face is not something to be ashamed of, but rather a proactive measure to better health. If you or a firefighter you know is working through a tough time at work or at home and needs someone to talk to who gets it, tell them “there’s an app for that.”

You can also contact MnFIRE’s Peer Support service directly via phone at 1-888-784-6634. Calls to the Peer Support hotline are answered live, 24/7, through PRO Network’s HIPAA-compliant answering service, and their experienced roster of masters-level mental health professionals will work to connect individuals with peer supporters and get them the help they need. No matter if you call or use the app, connecting with the MnFIRE Peer Support team can make all the difference on the path to better mental health and well-being.

To learn more, visit the PeerConnect App page.

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On behalf of MnFIRE and HealthPartners, Chief Resident Physician of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Dominic Dabrowski presented insights about our Critical Illness Program at the 2024 International Firefighter Cancer Symposium in Miami.

The significant number of cancer claims we see suggest the ongoing need for this benefit for Minnesota firefighters, and for more research to better understand the challenging epidemiology of firefighters and cancer.

Thanks to the Firefighter Cancer Initiative for hosting this important event!

#ifcs2024 #ExtinguishCancer
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On behalf of MnFIRE and HealthPartners, Chief Resident Physician of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Dominic Dabrowski presented insights about our Critical Illness Program at the 2024 International Firefighter Cancer Symposium in Miami.

The significant number of cancer claims we see suggest the ongoing need for this benefit for Minnesota firefighters, and for more research to better understand the challenging epidemiology of firefighters and cancer.

Thanks to the Firefighter Cancer Initiative for hosting this important event!

#ifcs2024 #ExtinguishCancerImage attachmentImage attachment

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Thank you for attending this year's IFCS and for sharing your important research with us! Let's stay connected!

It would be interesting to See data on retired firefighters, as the time following exposure might be longer.

Photos from Minnesota State Fire Department Association's post ... See MoreSee Less

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MnFIRE President George Esbensen spoke at the Midwest Business Group on Health's workforce mental health forum this week about the impact of the innovative mental health benefits available to Minnesota firefighters for free through the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program.

We're grateful to have these resources, and to take care of one another, in the face of all the stress and anxiety that comes with the fire service. Learn more at mnfireinitiative.com/hhap/#MAP.
... See MoreSee Less

MnFIRE President George Esbensen spoke at the Midwest Business Group on Healths workforce mental health forum this week about the impact of the innovative mental health benefits available to Minnesota firefighters for free through the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program. 

Were grateful to have these resources, and to take care of one another, in the face of all the stress and anxiety that comes with the fire service. Learn more at https://mnfireinitiative.com/hhap/#MAP.

Last week MnFIRE peer supporters and MnFIRE Assistance Program network providers came together for a Living Works SafeTalk workshop – a suicide prevention skills training – where they learned how to better recognize when someone might be thinking about suicide and how to keep them safe by promptly connecting them to further support.

We all can make a difference with suicide prevention, and learning the skills to reach in and have a conversation is a crucial step.

#suicideprevention #LivingWorks #PeerSupport
... See MoreSee Less

Last week MnFIRE peer supporters and MnFIRE Assistance Program network providers came together for a Living Works SafeTalk workshop – a suicide prevention skills training – where they learned how to better recognize when someone might be thinking about suicide and how to keep them safe by promptly connecting them to further support.

We all can make a difference with suicide prevention, and learning the skills to reach in and have a conversation is a crucial step.

#suicideprevention #LivingWorks #peersupport
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