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First Responder Mental Health Toolkit

Act 69

Call/Text for Help

State and national resources for first responders to call and text for assistance with mental health in a crisis:

  • First Responder Peer Support Hotline: 1-267-893-5400, operated by Pennsylvania-based Lenape Foundation (Number Printed on all EMS Certification Cards)
  • National Safe Call Now: 1-206-459-3020, Safe Call Now is a CONFIDENTIAL, comprehensive, 24-hour crisis referral service for all public safety employees, all emergency services personnel, and their family members nationwide.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • National Crisis Text Line: Text "FRONTLINE" to 741741
  • Pennsylvania County Crisis Lines (PA Department of Human Services)
  • International Critical Incident Stress Foundation Hotline: 1-410-313-2473, Any emergency service organization, or individual connected with an emergency service, may call the 24-hour Emergency Hotline for assistance or information on locating a Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team. If a situation distresses emergency workers and they need guidance in working through the stress, this hotline can also be called.
  • Veterans Crisis Line (For Veterans Only) 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
  • Pennsylvania Drug/Alcohol Treatment Hotline: 1-800-662-4357 (PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs)

Available Training Resources

TRAIN-PA Courses

The below courses are available on TRAIN-PA and are sponsored by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner and the State Fire Academy.  Users must establish an account on TRAIN-PA in order to view content. 

Federal Courses

The below courses are available from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and address content related to the mental health of first responders of all disciplines. 

  • SAMHSA First Response: This one-hour online training course was developed in response to the impact the opioid crisis has had on first responders across the country. It addresses the mental and physical stressors faced by firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, and police when responding to opioid overdose calls and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE). This course also provides evidence-based coping strategies, resources, and exercises to help mitigate the impacts of these stressful events.
  • SAMHSA Creating Safe Scenes: This one and a half-hour online course helps first responders use safe, positive approaches to assist individuals in crises related to mental illnesses or substance use disorders. Accredited by CAPCE for continuing education credit, the course presents information about mental health, mental illness, and substance use disorders so that responders can better assess risks and apply the safest strategies for taking care of themselves and the individuals they are called to serve.
  • SAMHSA Shield of Resilience Training Course: This free, one-hour, online course provides law enforcement officers with a foundational skill set to better understand and address the behavioral health stressors that are unique to law enforcement.
  • SAMHSA Service to Self: This one-hour online course is specifically for fire and emergency medical services personnel. Accredited by CAPCE for continuing education credit, the course addresses occupational stressors; mental health and substance use issues including depression, PTSD, suicidality, and alcohol use; individual and organizational resilience; and healthy coping mechanisms including stress management techniques.

Other Commercially Available Training Resources

There are a variety of different commercially available training resources that are available, sometimes with a cost for content.  Placement of a course in this tool kit does not constitute an endorsement by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Tool Kits and Program Development

There are a variety of different tool kits and resources that are available to address different components of first responder mental health and assist with education and program development. 

Other Resources

If you have other resources that you feel should be included in this publicly available toolkit, please email the resource to