The Mental Health Subcommittee (MHSC) provides national leadership in wildland firefighter mental health and wellness. The MHSC promotes and facilitates a national interagency approach to proactively identifying and addressing firefighter mental health.
- Develop NWCG guidance that enables firefighters and fire managers to recognize hazards to mental health and wellness and take effective prevention and mitigation actions.
- Standardize processes for collecting and analyzing data on wildland firefighter mental health and wellness.
- Use this data to inform development of NWCG wildland firefighter mental health and wellness guidance.
- Provide a forum for all firefighters and managers to increase their knowledge of wildland firefighter mental health issues and contribute to improvements in this area.
2021 Suicide Prevention Week, September 5 - 11
The wildland fire community has experienced significant events over the last few years that impact the mental health and wellness of wildland firefighters, our friends and loved ones, our coworkers, fire support personnel, and everyone else we interact with. This week the NWCG Mental Health Subcommittee has created seven days of messaging that we encourage you to share daily with all your resources. Our goal is to remove the stigma around mental health, to embrace a plan to take care of ourselves and those around us, and to give as much attention to our mental wellness as we do our physical fitness. The messaging should help you understand how to take care of yourself and those around you to help reduce the number of deaths by suicide each year. The five minutes you spend each day reading these pieces, and sharing them widely, could be the difference someone needs and the messaging they didn’t know they needed until you shared it. Let’s be part of the change and active participants in reducing the number of deaths by suicide each year.
- Day 1: Introduction
- Day 2: Connecting to Others
- Day 3: Owning Your Feelings - Emotional Size-Up and Situational Awareness Concept
- Day 4: Adapting After Trauma and Stress
- Day 5: Accepting Reality
- Day 6: Plan Your Actions and Plan Your Healthy Routine
- Day 7: Suicide Prevention - Changing the Story
- Summer 2021 Newsletter: Resilience
- Spring 2021 Newsletter: Season Preparation
- January 2021 Newsletter: Burnout
- Winter and Holiday Newsletter 2020-21
- Winter and Holiday Newsletter 2019-2020
- Filling the Void
- Suicide Prevention 2020: Come Together for Suicide Prevention
- Stigma and Mental Illness
- Maintaining Social Connections
- Suicide in Wildland Fire: Culture, Sense of Belonging, Identity, and Purpose
- Maintaining Mental Fitness
- Stress and Suicide
- Support Systems for Suicide Prevention
- Coping During Times of Uncertainty
- COVID-19 and Managing Your Mental Health
- Fear, Isolation, Depression: The Mental Health Fallout of a Worldwide Pandemic
- Coping With Stress
- Mental Health And COVID-19 – Information And Resources
- Protecting your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic
- COVID-19 resources for fire and EMS (FEMA)
Stress First Aid (SFA) Training
Items to Review
- Wildfires - Learn About Who Is Most At Risk For Emotional Distress From Wildfires And Where To Find Disaster-related Resources
- Need to Talk to Someone? (Warmlines)
- How to Recognize and Overcome Trauma
- 25 Simple and Proven Ways to De-Stress
- A Manager's Guide to Suicide Postvention in the Workplace: 10 Action Steps for Dealing with the Aftermath of a Suicide
- Montreal police suicide prevention program.
- Study of suicidal thoughts and behavior among firefighters by Florida State University.
- Employee Support Resources
- DOI EAP
- NPS Wellness & Resilience Portal
- FWS CISM and Peer Support Program
- FWS Employee Well Being (DOI accessible only)
- U.S. Forest Service EAP Providers as of March 30,2021
- Regions 1 and 3: ESPYR (800) 869-0276
- Region 4: ComPsych (888) 290-4327
- Region 6 and PNW: Deer Oaks EAP Services (888) 993-7650
- All Other Units: Federal Occupational Health (800) 222-0364
- NVFC Releases Behavioral Healthcare Provider Directory for Emergency Responders
- National Wildland Fire and Aviation: Critical Incident Stress Management
- Be the One To Save a Life - #BeThe1To
- Forest Service Suicide Awareness Tool Box