June 2017 Radio Episode: Community Health Centers and First Responders: Strengthening Communities through Education

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Community Health Centers (CHCs) and first responders provide a vital and necessary role in addressing the critical behavioral health needs of communities—including the current opioid overdose epidemic. CHCs provide vital primary care and preventive services regardless of ability to pay. These facilities serve approximately 1 in 14 people (1 in 10 children) in the United States. CHCs provide services for mental and/or substance use disorders (e.g., counseling, developmental screenings, crisis services, and detoxification) that are critical for helping people on a path to recovery. This show will discuss the essential work of the nation’s more than 10 million first responders—including police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, and other emergency personnel—in dealing with opioid overdoses, traumatic situations (e.g., natural and other disasters), and individuals in crisis. Providing first responders (and others) with the opioid overdose medication, naloxone, is a key aspect of federal actions to address the crisis. This show will describe the training first responders need to approach individuals with a serious mental illness in crisis in an appropriate and safe manner. We will also explore the benefits of interventions such as mental health first aid and psychological first aid, as well as the importance of self-care for first responders.

Last Updated: 09/14/2017