First Responders Get Mental Health Support from Crisis Fund

State of Arizona Office of the Governor

Governor Doug Ducey today announced $120,000 for Heal the Hero Foundation, supporting its work to mitigate the mental health impacts facing first responders during COVID-19. Heal the Hero Foundation offers technology-based mental health support—along with community education, research and training—for veterans, first responders and abuse survivors. The foundation also provides funding for innovative solutions to address the mental health issues facing various communities.

“First responders and those on the frontlines work around the clock to serve our communities and protect others,” said Governor Ducey. “We know those jobs come with lasting stress, and we want to ensure they have the mental health support they need during COVID-19. My thanks to Heal the Hero Foundation for their support of those who protect us, and to the first responders who sacrifice so much to protect others.”

“Arizona’s first responders face increasingly stressful and trauma-based situations every day that can impact their physical and mental health,” said Heal the Hero Foundation CEO and Founder Lou Schwartz. “We are pleased to work with Governor Ducey on solutions to improve first responder resilience and community safety.”

The $120,000 in one-time funding will support Heal the Hero Foundation’s efforts to build stress resilience for law enforcement personnel, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and other first responders who are vulnerable to physical and mental health issues caused by the stress of the profession.

These dollars come from the Crisis Contingency and Safety Net Fund, which was established in March by Arizona’s bipartisan state budget agreement.

Additionally, Arizona in April partnered with the University of Arizona to provide antibody tests for 250,000 health care professionals and first responders who are on the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19. The University of Arizona administers the antibody tests to check for antibodies through an individual’s blood sample to determine if they were exposed to COVID-19, had the virus and recovered. Information on antibody testing opportunities can be found HERE.

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