First Responder

Meaningful & Tangible Mental Health Tactics for First Responders

Michelle and Sergeant Lynette are on a mission to provide first responders with meaningful and tangible mental health tactics by offering the following interactive trainings.

Michelle E. Dickinson is a dedicated and passionate mental health change agent who is committed to shifting how mental health is related to and cared for within communities and workplaces. Deeply affected by mental illness as a young girl, Michelle understands how stigma prevents so many from getting the care they deserve. She cares deeply for those who serve and protect and is committed to supporting their wellbeing.

Sergeant Lynette Shaw has over 25 years of experience in law enforcement ranging from fugitive investigator to police sergeant. Having trained over 2,000 law enforcement professionals in the mental health space, she is a powerful and highly experienced mental health trainer with personal lived mental health experience.

De-escalation training in the community
Empowers law enforcement and teaches the importance of slowing down, creating space and using communication techniques to defuse potentially dangerous situations. Includes strategies to calmly deal with someone in the community who may be experiencing a mental and emotional crisis.

Resilience training
Empowers first responders around their overall health and wellness by elevating their capacity to prepare for, recover from, and adapt to the stress and adversity that they routinely encounter.

Mental Health First Aid Training + 3-year Certification
Educates and empowers first responders to understand the common mental health challenges that may arise within the community and the importance of early intervention and how they can identify and respond to someone who may be experiencing a mental health crisis.

  • Police Officers
  • Firefighters
  • Paramedics/Emergency Medical Technicians/Rescuers
  • Military Personnel

Every day, the courageous men and women who serve and protect us see and experience challenges that impact their wellbeing. Yet, they regroup and refocus so they can press forward for the sake of their communities and their families. Michelle and Sergeant Lynette are deeply committed to providing tangible and meaningful training to first responders so that they are well-equipped with the tools they need to better care for themselves and serve their communities with compassion.

It is time to amplify comprehensive mental health support for first responders! The reality is that they witness some of the most tragic events that happen in our communities. The stress they experience on the job tends to have a significant impact on their physical and mental well-being. Enduring prolonged and repeated exposure to trauma and extreme stress accumulates over the course of their careers and can lead to struggles with addiction, depression, burnout, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety related mental health conditions.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) between seven percent and 19 percent of police officers experience symptoms of PTSD as compared to 3.5 of the general population. Police officers suffer symptoms indicative of PTSD at a similar rate as veterans of the military. Also, according to NAMI, nearly 1 in 4 police officers have had thoughts of suicide at some point in their life and the suicide rate for police officers is four times higher than the rate for firefighters. In the smallest departments, the suicide rate for officers increases to almost four times the national average. Sadly, more officers die by suicide than in the line of duty. Isn’t it time to build more resilient agencies?

The stigma around mental health prevents many first responders from seeking treatment that they may need and deserve. Perceptions that they will be seen as weak in the eyes of their peers and superiors is real. We must normalize the mental health conversation and break the stigma when it comes to our public servants who are risking their lives every day to serve and protect their communities. Let’s prevent them from suffering in silence. The time has come to drive real change and elevate the mental health conversation for our brave first responders so that they are fully empowered to compassionately care for themselves and their communities.