Collaboration Will Expand First Responder Access to Virtual Peer Group Support
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alexandria, VA – In commemoration of National First Responders Day, Volunteers of America (VOA) is pleased to announce its VOA|ReST 4 First Responders program is the exclusive provider of Virtual Peer Group Support for moral injury on the Lighthouse Health and Wellness App. This first of its kind partnership brings vital and confidential resources to first responder agencies and individuals around the country at no cost to users.
“We are thrilled that our first technology collaboration is with Lighthouse Health and Wellness”, says Rita Nakashima Brock, PhD, Senior Vice President for Moral Injury Recovery Programs at Volunteers of America. “This partnership means that more first responders will have easy access to the resources they need to help them through challenging times.”
As the exclusive provider of virtual peer group support for moral distress and moral injury on the Lighthouse Health and Wellness app, VOA|ReST 4 First Responders is now available to the over 250,000 first responders who have access through their local agencies. Additionally, resources on moral injury and moral distress are accessible directly on the platform. Building on this collaboration, Lighthouse Health and Wellness and VOA|ReST look forward to integrating moral distress and resilience building into curriculum and training materials as well as in-person events in the future.
“We’re working together with VOA|ReST 4 First Responders because, like us, they value the importance of First Responder wellbeing. We agree, healthier first responders bring healthier communities,” said Joe Ramirez, Founder & CEO, Lighthouse Health and Wellness. “That commitment is what drives us to provide the best resources available to those who need them the most.”
VOA|ReST 4 First Responders, a national campaign and peer support service, helping first responders including fire, police, dispatch, EMS personnel, and hospital emergency staff process experiences of moral distress and burnout. The program is offered through a unique virtual peer group format derived from an evidence-based method for building and maintaining resilience. The online meetings are free for first responders seeking support.
Lighthouse Health and Wellness, an in-hand, on-demand, confidential health and wellness app was designed to provide anonymous access to health and wellness resources to the nation’s public safety agencies at no cost. Lighthouse Health and Wellness facilitates easy access to resources that address the unique challenges faced by first responders and those who support them. The app is available via desktop or mobile devices.
For more information about VOA|ReST 4 First Responders, join us November 8, 2023 at 3pm EDT for a virtual discussion, “Crossroads of Crisis: The Impact of Moral Injury and PTSD on First Responders and Why Leadership Matters” where we will explore how first responder agency leadership can play a more active role in supporting the resilience of our nation’s firefighters, police, EMS, dispatchers, and other law enforcement and emergency department personnel. Register for free HERE.
The Volunteers of America Shay Moral Injury Center, under the direction of Rita Nakashima Brock, PhD since 2017, builds on Volunteers of America’s work, spanning more than a century of helping formerly incarcerated people, military veterans, and others who live with the burden of moral injury. Through research, training and educational programs, it offers programs, effective strategies and processes that support healing for those who experience moral injury and that enhance moral resilience including peer support programs focused on moral injury for military veterans and frontline healthcare workers.
The Center is named in honor of psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Shay, who, in his years of work with Vietnam era veterans, coined the term moral injury to refer to the “undoing of character” that war can inflict on good soldiers. Dr. Shay was the expert advisor to the Center’s successful, evidence-based, inaugural pilot program for military veterans, called Resilience Strength Training.
Volunteers of America is a non-profit organization founded in 1896, is one of the country’s most comprehensive human services charities. It serves almost 1.5 million people annually in 46 states including children, families, the disabled, those who are incarcerated, veterans, the elderly, the homeless, those with mental health and addiction needs and so many more.
The Lighthouse Health & Wellness platform was inspired by the critical need for digital resources that provide first responders and their families confidential and anonymous access to mental health & wellness initiatives. Their mission is to ensure every public safety agency in the nation is able to provide its employees and families with sustainable, confidential and anonymous access to first responder-focused health and wellness resources.