Sheriff’s Office Holding Mental Health Forum For First Responders

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office is holding a Mental Health Wellness Forum for all first responders and their families.

Sgt. Michael Cortez says what first responders witness on a daily basis can really add up.

“What first responders deal with is called cumulative post-traumatic stress, and what that means is event after event after event over a period of time that goes undealt with.”

He says first responders tend to bottle that stuff up and don’t deal with it until it finally comes out in negative ways such as withdrawing from family, becoming angry, engaging in troubling behavior or worse.

“First responders need to realize that it’s okay to not be okay,” Cortez said.

The seminar will explain the resources available to first responders if they find themselves struggling from an incident they witnessed.

Several area mental health organizations will provide resources for those attending.

The forum will be at Owens Community College and run in two slots on Friday, February 21st; from 10 am to 12:30 pm and 6 pm to 8:30 pm.