Firefighters, like other emergency services professionals, continuously deal with minor and major stressors which often result in mental health issues. Today’s guest, Jason Corthell, is a District Chief with Cypress Creek Fire Department, and suffers from PTSD after surviving the catastrophic collapse of a building in 2015. Though Jason received enormous support in many ways after the accident, nobody addressed the issue of his mental health. Two years later, Jason decided to take on the major task of setting up a wellness program for his department. After realizing how much work went into creating the systems to run the program, and seeing the positive response from his team members to the interventions he put in place, Jason was inspired to share his learnings with the world, to ensure that as many emergency service departments as possible have access to tools which can preserve their mental health.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Where the idea for Ironclad Wellness originated.
- The importance of putting systems in place to run any kind of business.
- Examples of how Jason helps other emergency services departments run their programs as smoothly as possible.
- Jason shares what his biggest challenge has been in setting up Ironclad Wellness.
- Two of the questions Jason asked his team members prior to formulating a peer support group in his department.
- The diversity in Jason’s peer support group.
- How Jason deals with confidentiality in his peer support group.
- Where Ironclad Wellness received its first grant from.
- How Ironclad Wellness differs from EAPs.
- The number of people who have sought counseling through the program.
- A life changing event that transpired in Jason’s life on March 27th 2015.
- Compound stressors that firefighters continuously deal with.
- Support Jason received after the catastrophic building collapse he survived.
“It’s important to not only be able to implement a system that looks good for face value, but also you have to worry about the back side of things.” — Jason Corthell [0:02:41]
“I wanted to make sure that whatever we benefit from, I would try to deliver it to the entire fire service as a whole.” — Jason Corthell [0:06:20]
“I feel in my heart that this is the direction I’m being led to serve other firefighters.” — Jason Corthell [0:29:43]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: