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Monday, April 22, 2024

Fairfax County Police and Fire Open a First-of-its-Kind Public Safety Wellness Center for First Responders

The center was designed to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment equipped with comfortable waiting areas, private counseling areas, and areas for group counseling.

Fairfax County Police and Fire Departments celebrated the grand opening this month of their brand-new Public Safety Wellness Center with a focus on mental health and living for Fairfax County First Responders.

As part of FCPD’s new Health and Wellness Division, the FCPD will use this center to assist officers and professional staff in supporting their mental health and well-being, in addition to the physical health programs they currently offer. In a profession where traumatic experiences are part of an officer’s daily job, the Fairfax County Public Safety Wellness Center is designed to help better support first responders so they can better support our community members.

“Police officers and firefighters see things that are not normal, and they see things that are not normal at a rate much higher than the rest of the population. To be able to have a place where our officers can go and talk about their experiences, to make sure they are in the best place mentally, to be able to serve this community is the absolute way forward,” said Fairfax County police Chief Kevin Davis.

The Public Safety Wellness Center will serve as a spot where both police and fire department employees are provided a holistic approach to health, offering a wide range of services that cater to the needs of our personnel. The center is the first of its kind in this area, housing a number of highly skilled mental health professionals and additional resources for police officers, firefighters, and other public safety staff. The center was designed to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment equipped with comfortable waiting areas, private counseling areas, and areas for group counseling.

“Post traumatic stress is a real thing and kind of cumulative in regard to how it impacts a person’s mind, soul, and body, the whole person,” said Fire Chief John Butler. “And we have to take the stigma off this. The days of being tough and ‘I can handle anything and everything’ sometimes has not be helpful in public safety.”

FCPD’s Health and Wellness Division includes the department’s industry-leading Wellfit program and behavioral health resources. These programs are the only of their type for police departments across the country.  FCPD leads the way in supporting wellness and helping Fairfax County public safety professionals better serve our communities.

“We understand that each person’s journey towards wellness is unique, and we are here to provide support every step of the way, as this wellness center will have something for everyone,” said Vera Daniel, Director of the Fairfax County Police Department Health and Wellness Division.

Read more at Fairfax County Police

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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