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Nearly $80K awarded to Mass. PDs for training, counseling and outreach after traumatic events

“The impacts of post-traumatic stress are well documented and can have an immeasurable toll on emergency responders,” said Governor Maura Healey


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By Jill Harmacinski
The Eagle-Tribune

LAWRENCE, Mass. — The city’s police department was awarded a $95,210 grant to provide first responders services in the aftermath of stressful and traumatic events.

Lawrence police was one of 11 departments from across the state to receive grant money through the first state program supporting Critical Incident Stress Management services for emergency responders. The Healey-Driscoll Administration delivered $792,371 to the departments, according to a statement.

Each department employs emergency service providers who are certified by the Massachusetts Peer Support Network or International Critical Incident Stress Foundation to provide services to first responders in the aftermath of traumatic events.

Only municipal police departments were eligible to apply for funding; however, many of the departments awarded grant funding either provide or are affiliated with programs that provide services to police and other first responders beyond their own agency, according to the Healey-Driscoll administration.

“The impacts of post-traumatic stress are well documented and can have an immeasurable toll on emergency responders. We owe it to our first responders to ensure that they have the mental health services and resources in place to support their health and wellbeing after they experience trauma in the line of duty. Our communities are stronger and safer as a result of access to essential critical incident stress management services,” said Governor Maura Healey.

“Every day, members of law enforcement face potential threats and uncertainty. When a critical incident occurs, police and other first responders run toward danger as others run away. These grants provide support to first responders who experience a traumatic event and ensure appropriate access to quality mental health services and peer counseling,” said Lt. Gov. Kimberley Driscoll.

The CISM Grant Program provides state funding for counseling personnel, training, outreach, and other expenses necessary to meet the needs of emergency responders who have experienced traumatic events. The grant is managed and administered by the Office of Grants and Research, a state agency that is part of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

“Members of law enforcement deserve our support in the aftermath of traumatic events. Crisis intervention, suicide prevention and other services are vital to ensuring the wellbeing of emergency responders who have experienced a traumatic or critical incident. Investing in these services supports the health and safety of police officers, their families, and their communities,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy.

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