Resilience training programs are an effective treatment option for occupational stress injuries in first responders, according to a recent study. embRACE, a non-profit organization has recognized the need for more mental health help and counseling services for first responders in Charlotte and has pledged to raise money to help them. The mental health group has arranged a 5k race at Clanton Park on November 20. But what other support is there for Charlotte’s first responders?
There are multiple support services in North Carolina that first responders in Charlotte are encouraged to contact when they’re finding things tough. North Carolina First Responder Peer Support is one of them. The team is made up of firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency services staff who are there to listen, help, and give advice to other first responders. Another option is NC-Leap. They provide critical incident stress management to all first responders and hold regular events, such as post-critical seminars to help first responders deal with the difficult things they’ve seen and done.
Property prices in Charlotte are rising fast. Experts say you need to earn $79,000 per year to be able to afford the average home in Charlotte. This is nowhere near how much the $33,026 that the typical first responder in North Carolina earns. Paramedics in North Carolina generally earn more – around $43,500, but this still isn’t enough to afford a dream home. That’s why they should think about home loans for medical professionals. These programs often give a personalized experience, plus the mortgage interest rates on offer are low. It’s even possible to get same-day pre-approval. Another assistance program for first responders in Charlotte is the Community Heroes Homeownership Program. This program gives first responders up to $30,000 down payment to put towards a home in Mecklenburg County.
First responders often have more health problems than the general public. This is especially true for firefighters. Studies have found that firefighters are 9% more likely to develop cancer than the general population. Other first responders have health problems due to the physical toll their job has on them and not being able to attend medical appointments due to the long hours they work. North Carolina State Firefighters’ Association has special benefits in place for their first responders to ease their medical concerns. These include discounted dental insurance and life insurance.
34% of first responders have been treated for PTSD or depression, according to HMP Global Learning. Last year, the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and UNC Health launched a free wellness app to stop first responders from getting into a bad mental state. The Heroes Health app is designed to give users a snapshot of their mental health. Every week, the individual is asked to fill in a mental health assessment which is then reviewed. Users of the app can also access mental health resources instantly if they need them.
Wills for heroes
The family of first responders who pass away without leaving a will can face difficulties. North Carolina law states that when a married individual dies without a will, their spouse, parents, and descendants could all get a share of their estate. First responders should make sure the people they want to inherit their assets do so. Thankfully, the North Carolina Bar Foundation makes it easy for first responders to get a will. They set up regular clinics where local attorneys volunteer their services for free as a way of saying ‘thank you’.
There’s no denying that Charlotte’s first responders are well looked after. It’s great to see so many people offering to help these crucial workers and that they are well respected and cared for in the local community.