Peer Reviewed Articles

Peer support facilitates post-traumatic growth in first responders: A literature review

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First responders are routinely exposed to traumatic workplace incidents that can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). First responder organizations utilize different types of peer led programs to support first responders following a critical incident including the Critical Incident Stress Management Program (CISM) and stand-alone peer support programs. Little research has been done to determine the benefits or limitations of stand-alone peer support programs on the mental health of first responders. The aim of this project was to understand what characteristics of peer support facilitate post-traumatic growth (PTG) in first responders.

Peer Support Programs to Reduce Organizational Stress and Trauma for Public Safety Workers

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Public safety workers (PSWs), including correctional officers (COs), law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical service, and military personnel, are at risk of organizational stress and burnout. Exposure to traumatic events, job hazards, injuries, fatalities, and work-related stressors such as work overload, irregular shift assignments, and lack of administrative support can negatively impact PSWs’ mental health. Peer support programs (PSPs) have been cited as an intervention to address the mental health of PSWs.

Here for My Peer: The Future of First Responder Mental Health

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Workplace interventions that leverage social tactics to improve health and well-being are becoming more common. As an example, peer mental health support interventions aim to reduce stigma and promote treatment seeking in first responder populations. Given the social nature of these interventions, it is important to consider how the preexisting social context influences intervention outcomes. A peer mental health support intervention was delivered among first responders, and self-efficacy and intention to have supportive peer conversations were measured pre-and postintervention. Trust in peers was measured prior to the intervention.