Advancing the EMS profession

Mental Health Resilience Officer Course

Due to the difficult environments EMS personnel encounter every day, and the impact of both direct and vicarious trauma, our EMS workforce has long faced a disproportionate challenge in maintaining their mental health resilience.

NAEMT, with support from FirstNet®, Built with AT&T, has developed a new course to assist EMS agencies in building and supporting the mental health resilience of their personnel.

The Mental Health Resilience Officer (MHRO) course prepares EMS personnel to serve as their agency’s Mental Health Resilience Officer. In this role, the MHRO will engage with peers to develop an understanding of mental health issues and resilience; identify peers who are experiencing mental health stressors and crises; navigate peers in need to the right services for help; and support the development of a culture of mental health resilience and emotional wellness within the agency.

The course will include:

  • the role of a Mental Health Resilience Officer;
  • the impacts of EMS work on mental health and emotional wellbeing;
  • mental health resilience at the individual, interpersonal, and agency level;
  • beginner skills in empathetically engaging individuals regarding mental health issues;
  • key elements of an effective EMS mental health resilience program;
  • the evolving nature of mental health resilience; and
  • the importance of a data-driven evolutionary process for an EMS Mental Health Resilience program.

This course is available to all EMS agencies and fire departments. Qualifications for the course include:

  • at a minimum, current state certification or license as an EMT;
  • at least three years of full-time practice (or equivalent) at the EMT level or above;
  • strong interpersonal communication skills with an interest in serving in this position;
  • prior experience with critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) and/or motivational interviewing preferred.

This new course will be available through NAEMT’s publishing partner, the Public Safety Group of Jones and Bartlett Learning, in January 2022.

NAEMT thanks the following subject matter experts for their contributions to this course:

  • Lauren Young, LCSW
  • Lieutenant Dustin Hawkins
  • Rob Luckritz, JD, NRP
  • Bryan Nelson, MBA, NRP