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First-responders learn how to deal with job-related stress and trauma

Posted at 5:42 PM, Sep 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-29 20:02:47-04

EAST HELENA — On Thursday, September 29, 2022, the non-profit agency T-6 provided training and education to law enforcement officers and other first-responders.

The training in East Helena was offered to police, deputies, firefighters, EMTs, and others in cooperation with the Montana Highway Patrol. The agency is also working to create a peer-support network.

Great Falls police officer Jon Marshall emphasized the importance of mental health: “What we’re trying to do across the state of Montana is teach people, instruct people, how to be able to deal with it, how to understand that, and we’re really trying to create a statewide peer support network of law enforcement that are stepping up to help each other out.”

Marshall said he wants T-6 to grow statewide, instead of agencies having support groups of their own.

"Having a statewide peer support program that’s comprised of law enforcement of all different careers, deputies, troopers, detention offers, whatever they’re working in, this is the first of its kind,” said Marshall.

Marshall also wants to emphasize getting rid of the stigma that sometimes follows first responders who receive - or request - mental health support.

“There used to be a stigma around that if you didn’t talk about the issues you were having, and nobody wanted to hear, but the reality is that we want to change that,” Marshall says, “There is still a little bit of a stigma out there, but we are here today showing people and telling people that it’s okay to seek mental health.”

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