Ohio city opens new mental health center for first responders

The city is looking to change the depression and suicide rate among police officers, firefighters and EMS providers


By Amanda Spence

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Police officers, firefighters and EMS providers now have a new mental health resource in one Ohio city: a first-of-its-kind $3.2 million Wellness Center.

10TV reported the center is aimed at giving a safe space to responders where their mental health comes first. The city is looking to change the depression and suicide rate among responders.

Stephen Kern, a firefighter with the city’s fire department, helps at the center with Officer Don Paden after facing difficulties of their own on the job.

“Absolutely saved my life,” Kern said when speaking of counseling. “Without a doubt.”

“If you don’t learn how to deal with your hurt, your trauma, how effective of a person are you going to be?” Paden asked.

NEXT: Chicago's top cop: Department's mental health top priority in wake of officer suicides

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