Peer Support and Wellness Programs
In addition to individual and group therapy, peer support and wellness programs are becoming more common as part of an overall approach to improving the mental health and physical well being of first responders. As both a therapist and experienced workshop facilitator and trainer, Dr. Pytal works in partnership with leaders in agencies and organizations of all shapes and sizes to design and deliver programs that provide practical and emotional support to personnel – both inside and outside the work environment.
Peer Support Programs
A peer support program offers first responders the opportunity to discuss personal and professional problems confidentially with specially trained co-workers who understand their challenges and want to help.
Dr. Pytal works with organizational or departmental leadership to select peer supporters and provide training to help them acquire the skills necessary to assist co-workers who are experiencing a variety of life crisis situations. Through listening, assessing, and providing referrals to professional counselors or mental health experts as needed, peer support helps decrease stress and prevent the accumulation of feelings such as frustration, anger, and helplessness that can lead to bigger issues.
Promoting wellness among first responders – inside and outside of the workplace – is critical to maintaining their physical and mental health. Effective wellness programs begin by helping individuals understand the different types of stress that can occur in their professional and personal lives, and the impact of these stressors on their bodies and minds.
Dr. Pytal develops customized wellness programs that emphasize ways to prevent and alleviate stress through self-care. She focuses on educating participants about the importance of good nutrition, exercise, sleep, and other healthy habits to combat stress and promote their overall well being. By taking care of themselves first, they are in a better position to support others.
For more information about FRRC’s Peer Support and Welness Programs, email us or call us at 973-454-5569.