Sr. Mary Frances Seeley, Ph.D., suicidologist for the Joliet Firefighters Peer Support Group has provided real, common sense advice for managing stress using individual coping strategies.
The JFPSG proudly serves the active members, retirees, and families of the City of Joliet Fire Department in Joliet, Illinois. Thank you JFD for your support and good work.
The Joliet Firefighters Peer Support believes that the path to Joliet Firefighter mental and emotional health begins with firefighters, clinicians, clergy, and public officials working together to provide support, education, and connection to resources to our firefighters and their families. The public can depend on firefighters. Firefighters can depend on their peer support network.
A Fire Department where all Joliet Firefighters and their families are holistically cared for by their peer network regarding all forms of mental and emotional health
We are a volunteer organization that has the best interest of firefighters in mind. Our firefighters have been trained to the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Peer Support standards and are prepared to provide quality peer support.
Suicide in the fire service has reached alarming proportions, surpassing line of duty deaths (LODD) in firefighters. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were 48 firefighter LODD in 2019. Compare this to 119 firefighter suicides.
SUD is a common issue within the first responder community. Current research suggests that those in fire service engage in binge drinking at almost double the rate of the general public. Other issues include improper use of depressants and stimulants.
PTSD has reached epidemic proportions in the fire service. Symptoms include intrusion, avoidance, negative cognition and mood, and alteration in arousal response. There are effective treatments for this disorder.
Firefighters experience depressive disorders at more that twice the rate of the general public (17% vs 7%). Depression is highly treatable. There are resources available to help.
The firefighter is not the only one affected by this career choice. Spouses, partners, significant others, children and even parents can all face challenges.
Ask mental health professionals and they will tell you that everything is related to sleep. Many mental health (and physical) issues can be negatively affected by poor sleep.
Divorce can be a very stressful event in a firefighter's life. The Joliet Firefighters Peer Support Group has clinicians who specialize in pre-divorce couples and family counseling as well as post-divorce support.
Ed Arambasich firstname.lastname@example.org 815-409-8705
Chris Bay email@example.com 815-216-1740
James Boyd firstname.lastname@example.org 815-671-0630
Matt Christensen email@example.com 779-875-5146
Tom Douglas firstname.lastname@example.org 815-342-4574
Justin Farrar email@example.com 815-730-0850
Chris Groh 815-739-3448
Jeremy Hoffman firstname.lastname@example.org 815-353-6956
Aaron Kozlowski email@example.com 815-922-5348
Nate Kren firstname.lastname@example.org 815-210-2933
Jim Larson email@example.com 815-955-7041
John Lukancic firstname.lastname@example.org 815-530-2196
John Miller email@example.com 815-955-6094
Nancy Nelson firstname.lastname@example.org 815-353-3339
Stan Nowicki email@example.com 815-954-1365
Mike Nurczyk firstname.lastname@example.org 815-529-0193
Courtney O'Brien email@example.com 815-353-3122
Chris O'Hara firstname.lastname@example.org 815-791-3063
Matt Pasteris email@example.com 815-671-6390
Dominick Perona firstname.lastname@example.org 815-909-4384
Jan Quillman email@example.com 815-726-7071
Burke Schuster firstname.lastname@example.org 815-730-3897
Mary Frances Seeley email@example.com 815-341-9124
Terry Smith firstname.lastname@example.org 630-988-7395
Mike Stapp email@example.com 815-690-6507
Mike Stromberg firstname.lastname@example.org 815-258-6880
Pat Wojewoda email@example.com 815-258-4725
Floyd Woods 815-409-1877
Q: Are you sure this is confidential?
A: Yes. We have already spoken to and rendered aid to many firefighters and have maintained strict confidentiality. Confidentiality is one of our core values. From our founding in 2019 until this posting in 2021, we have helped over 50 people and have not received a single complaint of a confidentiality breach.
Q: Is there a law that governs peer support in Illinois?
A: Yes. 5 ILCS 840/1, the First Responders Suicide Prevention Act establishes rules for peer support teams across the state. The JFPSG adheres to this law.
Q: What is your purpose?
A: Our purpose is to care for the mental health of Joliet Firefighters and their Families. In addition, we will not turn other responsers or their families if they are in need.
Q: Is it true that annually there are more firefighter suicides than line of duty deaths (LODD)?
A: Unfortunately yes, many more. The firefighter suicide total is far higher than the firefighter LODD total from all causes. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), from 2015-2019, there were 794 firefighter deaths recorded. Of these, 485 (61.1%) were suicides and 309 (38.9%) were LODD. Mental health care and identification of illness in the fire service must improve. Peer Support is a good start.
Seek help NOW! There is HOPE! Call or text (855) JFD-PEER,
Call or text the Upper Room Crisis Line (888) 808-8724,
Call or text Aspire Center for Positive Change (815) 353-3122.
1402 Roth Dr. Joliet, IL 60431 US
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