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City authorizes first responder wellness/mental health program


XENIA — City Council authorized the execution of a free three-year contract with Pinpoint Behavioral Health for the Public Safety Department’s First Responder Wellness and Mental Health Program.

The Public Safety Department, which consists of the Fire & EMS Division, Police Division, and Emergency Communications Division, was awarded a state grant utilizing funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The grant request of $99,450 for three years will fund the program.

According to city officials, the program will include annual mental health evaluations for public safety personnel with funding also provided for follow-up care as needed. The grant provides specific training that focuses on mental health wellness and stress management, and includes oversight/quarterly check-ins to ensure continued health.

“This new program is very beneficial. It’s an incentive for us to keep watch over our physical and mental health,” said Captain Greg Beegle, who’s division just completed calcium testing at Greene Memorial Hospital. The crew has yet to complete mental health check ups.

The wellness check program — which started earlier this year — promotes prevention, education, and emotional support. Pinpoint Behavioral Health Solutions helps break down the barrier of speaking to a mental health provider through the following:

Neck up check ups: Thirty to 60 minutes with a culturally competent clinician to decrease stigma and help guide personnel to make choices to improve their mental health.

Department training: Approximately two hours per shift to increase awareness, education on responders own mental health, improve morale, and emotional intelligence.

Mental health therapy: Provide ongoing therapy sessions, link personnel with appropriate resources or their providers. Utilize CBT, EMOR, CPT, and other evidenced-based interventions with a masters level clinician.

Crisis and consultation: Provide 24/7/365 availability to respond to personnel crisis. Services include CID, CISM, consultation, coordination of other services, and referral if needed. Provide on-scene/post-incident response.

The Pinpoint team also facilitates spousal support group educational events and post traumatic stress disorder/trauma educational presentations; attends and provides clinical consultation services to various departments; has built relationships with local hospitals to assist in a smooth direct process for first responders in a mental health crisis; has offered after business hours therapeutic support to every member and command staff within the departments and has provided support after critical incidents and responded upon request.

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.