provides a welcoming environment for youth, artists, and community members to experience self-discovery and growth through the art and process of theatre.Watch a video of our story
NH Rapid Response Access Point is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—by phone, text or chat: 833-710-6477 or NH988.com.
Caring help at your fingertips. and, if needed, we will come to you.
If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Spanish-speaking Option: 1-888-628-9454
Options for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals: dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255
Provides free and confidential 24/7 support to anyone in any type of crisis from a crisis counselor.
Text "HOME" to 741741 |
Suicide Hotline, Portsmouth NH (603) 433-5270, option 1
Maine Crisis Hotline 1-888-568-1112
Riverbend Psychiatric Emergency Services 1-833-710-6477
National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-464-5767 (Press 1)
Intentional Peer Support Warmline Maine 1-866-771-WARM (9276) or 711 (Maine Relay)
National Alliance for Mental Illness: Documenting the Traumas of First Responders
Officer Justin Breton, CCISM, Mental Health & Wellness Coordinator
Manchester Police Department, 405 Valley Street, Manchester NH 03103
Desk: 603-792-5509, Cell: 603-851-7778, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Kelley, PPFFNH Peer Support, Firefightter/Paramedic
Concord Fire Department, 24 Horseshoe Pond Lane, Concord NH 03301
Susan Brown LCMHC, MLADC, EMT-I(RET), Lead Clinician, Trainer
Forge VFR Facility Manchester, 1750 Elm St, Stes 102-103, Manchester NH 03104
Direct Line: 603-865-1702, For Intake: 503-865-1706 ext. 2
Nicole Sawyer, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist
Pubic Safety Consulting, Assessment & Training
Critical Incidents: The “Terrible 10”
NH RSA 153-A:17-a “Critical Incident” means an event or events that result in acute or cumulative psychological stress or trauma to an emergency service provider as a result of response to the incident.
Line of duty death
Suicide of colleague
Serious line of duty injury
Death or serious injury involving children
Prolonged events that end with a negative outcome
Events with a high degree of threat of violence to responders
Excessive media attention
Multi-casualty incident or disaster
Events in which the victim is known to responders
Any significantly powerful, overwhelming, distressing event (icisf.org)
In a Washington Post article from October 2019, a first responder described how he never struggled with PTSD in his 30-year career until the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. After that, the very smell of pizza would send him back into that school’s cafeteria where trays of pizza rotted away as he and other first responders processed the scene.
As this first responder’s PTSD symptoms worsened, his life unraveled. He turned to alcohol to try to cope with the trauma, withdrew from family and friends, and lost his marriage. Eventually, he was able to recover after seeking help. But what if he had been able to address his PTSD sooner?
By knowing the signs of PTSD, you have a better chance of identifying what your loved one is going through sooner and get them the help they need before they turn to drugs or alcohol.
If your loved one is exhibiting the following symptoms, they are probably struggling with PTSD:
Difficulty Sleeping. First responders who struggle with PTSD will relive past trauma through flashbacks and nightmares. If your loved one is showing signs of distress in their sleep, not sleeping at all because of nightmares or having panic attacks throughout the day, they’re likely struggling with PTSD.
Avoiding Places, People or Activities. Has your loved one tried to avoid driving down a specific road? Do they seem extremely tense and anxious when doing certain things or talking to specific people? Your loved one is most likely reacting to triggers that remind them of a traumatic event or experience. This is another sign that your loved one is struggling with PTSD.
Extreme Mood Swings. Being a first responder requires staying calm and collected during emergencies when other people are panicking. This used to be your loved one, but now they’re constantly on edge. Their emotions seem to be all over the place, and you’ve noticed that they lose their temper faster than usual. These mood swings have everything to do with how PTSD is hurting your loved one.
Pulling Away from Family and Friends. On top of their mood swings, has your loved one pushed you away, ignored other family and friends, and lost interest in activities or hobbies they used to enjoy? PTSD is probably leaving your loved one feeling isolated, misunderstood and acting out against the people they love and care about.
Bringing a Gun or Weapon Everywhere. Is your loved one keeping their gun or another weapon on them whenever they leave the house? PTSD can be so overwhelming that it can make your loved one think they need to be armed and ready to protect themselves at all times. This can be extremely dangerous – both for your loved one and for others around them – if they overreact and feel the need to take action.