First Responders


Taking care of your community is in your blood. But you also deserve to receive compassionate care in return.

First responders – such as firefighters, police officers, paramedics, emergency room personnel, and more – dedicate their lives to helping others in times of distress, but the commitment to public service comes at a cost. They are constantly exposed to traumatic events such as car accidents, fire emergencies, violence, and natural disasters that can have long-lasting emotional impacts. In addition, the stressors of their jobs, including high pressure environments, long hours, and unpredictable schedules can exacerbate the trauma they experience on a daily basis. Despite their training and skills, these experiences can take a mental toll on even the most experienced first responders, leading to issues such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For trauma in particular, symptoms can include nightmares, flashbacks, heightened anxiety, and the avoidance of triggers that remind them of the traumatic event.

Without properly addressing mental health, symptoms can compound over time. First responders who neglect their mental health may suffer from increased levels of burnout, fatigue, and loss of motivation, leading to a decline in work performance, potentially putting them and others in danger. In addition, neglecting mental health can lead to relationship conflicts, substance use, lack of purpose, low confidence, and more. It’s critical for first responders to notice signs of mental fatigue to prevent these issues from occurring.

We care deeply about the important role that first responders play in the community and we pride ourselves on being a trusted resource for this population. We understand that when your job title is “community hero,” there are social pressures about not showing signs of weakness, fear, or shame. This can make it difficult for first responders to ask for help. At River Oaks Psychology, we create space for you to confidentially engage with a therapist who sees you as a human being, with real emotions, just like the rest of us. With online therapy, you can receive support in the comfort of your home – away from the public – where you can privately talk through the trauma you witness on a regular basis.

Be the hero who breaks the mold. Talk about mental health. Normalize it. Lead by example and become the best version of yourself.

Everyone needs help sometimes.

Therapy can provide first responders with a safe space to process their experiences, develop coping skills, and improve their mental health. We offer an opportunity to learn practical skills such as relaxation techniques, cognitive restructuring, mindfulness, and exposure therapy that can aid you in managing difficult emotions in high-stress situations. Additionally, therapy helps first responders build resilience by providing social support and enhancing problem-solving skills, resulting in stronger leadership skills, decision-making capability, and overall quality of life. Given the important role of first responders in our society, it is imperative to recognize the warning signs of mental health issues and seek professional care and support.