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Peer Support Team Leadership.
Contact any leader for Peer Support Information.

Life Services:  800-822-4847

Anthem EAP:  800-865-1044

St. Francis EAP:  317-528-7900

Comprehensive Counseling:  317-880-3777

Centerstone EAP:  800-766-0068

Ascension St.Vincent:  317-338-4900; 800-544-9412

Hank Harris – IFD/L416:  317-262-5161

Brandon Drieman – IFD/L416:  317-371-2325

Doug Abernathy – IFD:  317-716-0649

Tim Gallagher – Wayne/ Beechgrove /L416:  317-442-2899 

Jeremiah Meriwether – IEMS/L416:  812-568-6618

Troy Clements – Pike:  317-650-6610

Jacob Humphrey – Decatur:  317-250-3430

Jackie Fuller – City of Lawrence:  317-690-5757

Jamie Foust – MESA:  317-650-2664 

Airport /Speedway:  Call any L416 Peer Support Member 

Skip Ockomon – Worldwide Peer Support:  765-425-1936 

Peer Support

Peer Support is assistance provided by a trained individual or group of trained firefighters and emergency responders who answer the call to their brothers and sisters in need, regardless of the need.  These values are unheld by an understanding that we have a calling to care for all firefighters, emergency responders and civilian staff equally, and that we are all deserving of genuine support by our peers.

Your Local 416 Peer support team is here for you! Both Active Member and Retired. This is private and confidential, we will work with you, to help get you the resources you need to get through the rough spots and get back to living and enjoying life.

Our goal is to provide safe and confidential assistance to our members and their families in an effort to relieve the acute and chronic stressors associated with life in the fire service.

Brain health is physical health. If you believe that you or a family member would benefit from a discussion with Peer Support, call or text us anytime!

We can help with:

ALL Peer Support is confidential and secure.  We will protect your privacy and do not report to Admin.  Your calls and emails will not be recorded or kept.  
We use non-department email and phones for your confidentiality.  
We are here to help.  Your privacy and wellbeing is our #1 concern!

What is anxiety and stress?

Anxiety or stress can come from any situation or event that makes us feel worried, frustrated, angry, or during a time you feel you have little or no control. Anxiety can be a feeling of apprehension, nervousness, or fear. The source of this uneasiness is not always known or recognized, which can add to the distress you feel. People with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive, and persistent worry and tension about everyday situations. Here are some tips to help cope with anxiety

  • Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Learn and practice relaxation techniques like guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, tai chi, or meditation.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol.
  • Take breaks from work. Make sure to balance fun activities with your responsibilities. Spend time with people you enjoy.
  • Pick up a hobby that you used to enjoy.
  • Talk to friends or peers.

8 PTSD WARNING SIGNS

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a trauma and stress-related disorder that can develop after exposure to an event in which death or severe physical harm occurred[2]. PTSD affects about 8 million Americans and is often coupled with depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders. 

First responders are often first-hand witnesses to tragedies, death, and destruction daily as a part of their job. This can put them at a higher risk for developing PTSD, which is why it’s so important for stations and families to know what signs to look out for.

SIGN #1: INTRUSIVE MEMORIES

People experiencing PTSD often relive traumatic event(s) in vivid memories, which can manifest as flashbacks or nightmares.

SIGN #2: AVOIDANCE BEHAVIORS

It’s common for those with PTSD to avoid reminders and feelings associated with their trauma. Examples of these could be certain places, activities, or people. This can cause a potential disruption in the person’s normal daily routine.

SIGN #3: INCREASED AROUSAL AND REACTIVITY

Symptoms of PTSD related to this can include increased anger or aggression, irritability, insomnia, hypervigilance, and hypersensitivity.

SIGN #4: NEGATIVE CHANGES IN MOOD AND THOUGHT

It’s also common for those with PTSD to experience an array of other mental health disorders along with their PTSD. These can include anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. Some symptoms of these may include feelings of detachment and guilt, lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities, negative mood, and distorted beliefs about oneself, others, and the world

SIGN #5: “VORTEX OF NUMB”

The vortex here refers to the stupor your spouse may seem to enter when returning home from work and tuning out the rest of the world by becoming engrossed in the TV, iPad, or computer. If they are unable to come out of this “vortex” to answer questions or turn their attention to something else, it may be cause for worry.

SIGN #6: “GLASS TEST”

This test has to do with how we handle stress. People without PTSD usually start their days with an empty glass that fills up with different stressors as the day goes on. Someone suffering from PTSD will start their days with a glass that is already three-quarters full. The glass test is seeing how quickly your spouse’s glass overflows and if those stresses are “normal”. Is their threshold of being overwhelmed very low?

SIGN #7: “WHATEVER WASTELAND”

Anyone who has ever had a teenager knows this one well. Does your spouse take responsibility or make decisions without being asked?

SIGN #8: “I USED TO SYNDROME”

Does your spouse often talk about things they used to do that they enjoyed, but don’t do anymore? Keep track of how much they talk about these things and see if you can try to create situations where they can do these things again.

 

If you or someone you care about are having any of these signs please reach out to a  PEER support team member or a clinician. 

 

OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES:

 https://www.iaffrecoverycenter.com/blog/ptsd-in-the-fire-service-tackling-myths/

SOURCES:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5825264/#R54

[2] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder

[3] https://www.iaffrecoverycenter.com/behavioral-health/ptsd/

PEER SUPPORT TEAM ACTIVATION

There are many scenarios for which peer support may be needed. If you as an employee perceive that there is a need for peer support, then there probably is in fact a need. It is better to reach out to peer support when it may not be needed than it is to avoid contacting peer support when a problem truly exists. Err on the side of caution.

Following are the preferred activation methods:

  • Any Local 416 Department may contact PSC and request that the Peer Support Team be activated. Be prepared to provide guidance as to why Peer Support is being requested, how many companies are involved, and how Peer Support can contact you. It is imperative that Peer Support speak with the requesting officer prior to responding.
  • Any member of the Executive Board can be contacted directly by any member of Local 416. After gathering necessary information, the Board member will decide who to send and will provide your contact information to the responding team member
  • Any Member of the Peer Team may be contacted.
    They will get you the resources you need or move you to the correct support person.
  • Confidentiality will be fully maintained at all times!

Peer Support Leadership

The group is headed by a licensed mental health practitioner.

Dr. Rober Smith, Ph.D., LLC Retired IFD

429 Vermont Street

(317)758-3664

For more information or to get help please call or text.  We will get you the peer support you need.

Peer Team Leadership

Life Services:  800-822-4847

Anthem EAP:  800-865-1044

St. Francis EAP:  317-528-7900

Comprehensive Counseling:  317-880-3777

Centerstone EAP:  800-766-0068

Ascension St.Vincent:  317-338-4900; 800-544-9412

Hank Harris – IFD/L416:  317-262-5161

Brandon Drieman – IFD/L416:  317-371-2325

Tim Gallagher – Wayne/L416:  317-442-2899 

Jeremiah Meriwether – IEMS/L416:  812-568-6618

Skip Ockomon – Worldwide Peer Support:  765-425-1936 

Family Peer Support

The Family Peer support team is starting here at the Local. This is open to all districts! if you are interested in getting involved or are in need of help click on the button below!

Insomnia and Sleep Coaching Now Available!

Conquering Insomnia CBT-I Program

 

BT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia)  is proven to be the first-line treatment for adults with chronic insomnia. It improves sleep in 75-80% of insomnia patients and reduces or eliminates sleeping pill use in 90% of patients. And, in three major studies that directly compared CBT-I to sleeping pills, CBT-I was more effective than sleeping pills. CBT-I also has no side effects and maintains improvements in sleep long-term, and new research shows that CBT-I doubles the improvement rates of depression compared to antidepressant medication alone in depressed patients with insomnia. It also improves sleep and reduces pain, menopausal hot flashes, fibromyalgia, substance abuse,  and PTSD in insomnia patients with these co-morbid health problems.

In contrast to CBT-I, sleeping pills do not greatly improve sleep. Objectively, newer-generation sleeping pills such as Ambien are no more effective than a placebo. Subjectively, sleeping pills only increase total sleep time, and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, by about 10 minutes . Furthermore, these small to moderate short-term improvements in sleep are often outweighed by significant side effects, particularly in adults age 60+. These side effects include impaired learning and memory, daytime sedation, dependency, and increased risk of overdose and depression as well as traumatic brain injury and dementia. Research also suggests that sleeping pills and drugs of abuse share the same neurobiological pathway involved in addiction, and 33 of 34 studies have shown an association between sleeping pill use and increased mortality rates.  For this reason, Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata have received new FDA black box warnings about potentially fatal side effects.

Our Peer Support Team Leaders have gone through Dr. Jacobs Training Program, in order to bring this program to you. If you have any questions please call, text or email. 

We are here to help!

Brandon Dreiman:  317-371-2325.   

B_dreiman@yahoo.com

Tim Gallagher:  317-442-2899

Tim.gallagher@L416.com

Help for Quitting Smoking!

Are you ready to make a change in your life? Are you ready to take back control? The Indiana Tobacco Quitline knows how hard it is to quit. We know that it may take several attempts, but we are here to walk you through it every step of the way. We’ll find ways to help you curb the cravings. Your health will improve and you will feel the benefits of living a tobacco-free life.

This FREE service is available to Indiana Residents residents that make the call. Are you ready to stop smoking? Simply call 1-800-QUIT-NOW( 1-800-784-8669) or visit QuitNowIndiana.com.

Not Finding the resource you need? Check out the link below for many more options.

 

Search and connect to support. Financial assistance, food pantries, medical care, and other free or reduced-cost help for you your family or friend! All confidential  resources. 

 

Worldwide Peer Support

Worldwide Peer Support Mission: By having readily accessible assistance to firefighters/EMS personnel and other first responders around the world, we will create a pathway to save lives. We will provide a human connection and peer support for those seeking help and guidance. Through our efforts, we will help to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues and provide financial aid for those seeking treatment.

When a Firefighter/EMT/Paramedic is in crisis and suffering from PTSD, the ache is like a ripple effect that impacts the whole family. It can be very difficult to take your own needs into consideration when your loved one is exhibiting behaviors such as:

  • Isolation

  • Withdrawing from family and friends

  • Not sleeping

  • Abusing drugs or alcohol

  • Having anger issues

  • Nightmares

  • Engaging in (self) destructive behaviors

 
 

It is overwhelming when you feel like you have nowhere to turn, and no one could possibly understand your feelings of:

  • Guilt

  • Shame

  • Loneliness

  • Helplessness

  • Anger

  • Frustration

  • Worry

  • Fear

  • “Walking on eggshells”

  • The extreme weight/burden on your shoulders

  • The insecurity in yourself and your relationship

  • The questioning of your own sanity and well being

 

 

Peer Support is here to help! Reach out by clicking on the link below or contact one of our local contacts listed above. 

988 Suicide & Crisis

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Your Peer Support Program is proudly Sponsored by the following!