AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — BSA Behavioral Health now has a crisis center dedicated to helping area first responders.
“For these first responders, we’re offering same day availability for appointments as well as a 24/7 crisis line,” said Addison Weaver, a certified first responder counselor associate at BSA Behavioral Health.
Weaver said they also provide medication management and in-house counseling for law enforcement officers, firefighters, dispatch, EMTs and paramedics.
“80% of first responders actually experience traumatic events on the job. So this often involves exposure to life threatening situations so it is really important that they’re getting the help that they need,” she said.
For that reason, Sgt. Carla Burr with the Amarillo Police Department said they have several mental health resources available for employees, including peer support and a city-wide employee assistant program with access to counseling.
“Law enforcement, first responder, and military suicides are high and they’ve been rising in the recent past,” said Sgt. Burr. “If you’re in one of those fields, watch out for your brothers and sisters. If you need help reach out and ask for it. Don’t be embarrassed.”
Weaver said BSA Behavioral Health offers a range of treatments for mental health issues, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
“First responders are constantly putting others’ needs above their own and seeing the things they see becomes very mentally draining,” Weaver added. “They’re always there to protect and care for us, so we want to be there to protect and care for them.”
The crisis center is at 2701 S. Georgia in Amarillo. Their services extend to the surrounding area. The crisis line is open 24/7. First responders can call 806-350-7601 during business hours to learn more.