Empowering First Responders through PeerConnect: A conversation with Lt. Jeremy Colhouer, MSCJ, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office 

At the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, our agency resources encompass crucial components to help alleviate work and personal stress. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP), chaplain team, peer support team, and the Family Support Network are essential components of our resiliency programming and everyone in the organization from the top down to the family at home needs to be aware of them. 

PeerConnect has proven to be the vital link that bridges this gap. By serving as a one-stop destination to access peer support resources, it empowers our members and their families to stay informed, engaged, and connected with the organization. 

Above all else, our agency prioritizes fostering trust, camaraderie, and a profound sense of family belonging among our team. To achieve this, we utilize PeerConnect for proactive check-ins at least once a year on all our agency members. This ensures every member receives the support they need, leaving no one behind. It is an invaluable opportunity to strengthen bonds within the organization, communicate available resources, and provide unwavering support to both our team members and their families. We firmly believe in being there for our team, especially when they least expect it. 

Engaging Members

To help foster engagement, we developed a Family Support Network group in PeerConnect, and we make it a priority to communicate the value of PeerConnect to everyone involved. This allows spouses to access the same resources and event information as our agency members, including contact details for our peer support team, our agency chaplains, and our public safety therapist. With PeerConnect, resource contact paperwork no longer ends up forgotten in patrol cars; instead, it becomes readily available for both agency members and their families; it has become a 360 tool to educate our members and their families. 

PeerConnect has transformed the way we engage with our first responder members. Providing access to all agency resources and empowering our team to take charge of their challenges. We know if there is a problem, this typically starts in the home, and involving families helps create a strong support system that contributes to the well-being of our members both at work and at home. Through a philosophy of presence and communication with key stakeholders, we ensure every team member is supported and cared for, ultimately fostering a resilient, cohesive, and empowered workforce. 

While we have spent years creating resiliency programs that works for our members and their support systems, PeerConnect took that program to the next level, and we are thankful for the product First Response Mental Health has built. 

Are you ready to learn more about empowering First Responders through PeerConnect. Visit our contact page to book a demo today.