This podcast is designed to help all first responders with their mental health, well being, and to help break the stigma associated with asking for help. It will also focus on several different ways to overcome the repeated trauma all first responders are subjected to during their careers.
Lt. Richard Goerling (ret.) is a leading expert in the field of mindfulness for first responders. Rich has been researching, training, and practicing mindfulness for first responders for over 15 years. Rich is a pioneer in the field as it relates to how to apply the theories of mindfulness into actual practice for first responders. In this episode we discuss how mindfulness can increase your performance in the field and how to train to be your optimal warrior self. We also discuss the growth mindset and how to be more resilient during your entire career as a first responder. Rich has trained many law enforcement officers around the nation in mindfulness through his mindful badge initiative and how to use mindfulness skills to optimize human performance. Check out the link below to his website for resources and access to free mindful meditations.
In this episode, John Preston talks about being a Marine, a firefighter, recording artist and the suicide of his older brother, Mike, who was a police officer. John started an organization, 22andyou, to bring awareness to veteran and first responder suicides. John talks about the epic journey he started on January 13, 2020 where he walked 22 miles a day, carrying 22 Kilograms, for 28 straight days.
John walked from Palo Alto, CA to the deck of the USS Midway in San Diego, CA, a trek of over 600 miles. John discovered a lot about himself, his brother's suicide, and had many revelations along the route. Come listen to John's life changing journey as we discuss that it's ok to ask for help and to #Sharetheweight.
John had a film crew with him along the way and is in production of a film series to document the struggles of the trip and to highlight the amazing first responders he met along the way. Check out John's website below and donate to his cause to help get the film to production. Also, check out John's story on YouTube as well and his song Wasteland.
This episode is dedicated to the memory of Officer Michael Lee Preston EOW January 13, 2016. May you rest in peace brother.
As a First Responder you see, hear, and smell things throughout your career that you will never forget. There are moments that will cause you to flash back to a prior experience and there is little you can do to stop that from happening. In this episode, Mark DiBona, a retired police sergeant with 33 years of experience, takes us through the journey of his career and what led him into depression and having PTSD. Mark was moments away from committing suicide when he was saved by a co-worker. Mark talks in detail about the road to his darkest moment and what made him see the light. Mark now takes solace in speaking about what happened to him, the lack of support he received from some, and the work he is doing now with Blue HELP to Honor, Educate, Lead, and Prevent suicides amount first responders. Please listen to Mark's words and know you are not alone.
Below are the links to Blue HELP and their wonderful program 1stHELP, a resource to assist first responders in finding crises help.
Yoga in the firehouse? Is that possible? What are the benefits of yoga for first responders? These are all questions I discussed with Shannon McQuaide, the founder of Fire Flex Yoga. We discuss resiliency, awareness, mindfulness, and the power of the mind / body connection. We also talked about the power of the breath and how trauma lives inside our bodies.
In this episode, Angelique Finestone, a clinical psychology PhD student, discusses what is was like growing up with two parents who are first responders and the struggles she witnessed. Because of some of the things she saw her parents endure, she knew her passion was to help other first responders with their mental health so her journey began to get her PhD.
Angelique is the wife of a veteran, who is also a police officer, and we discuss the hope for the destigmatization of mental health for the first responder community. Angelique talks about her current work with the marginalized populations she is currently serving and the overlap she sees with the first responder community.
In this episode, I interviewed Palo Alto Police Chief Bob Jonsen. Chief Jonsen is a certified mindfulness and compassion trainer through Stanford University and teaches law enforcement and other first responders about the benefits of mediation and mental health awareness. Chief Jonsen talked to me about the journey through his career and want led him to need mindfulness and meditation. Chief Jonsen also talks about the science behind mindfulness and how it can actually re-train your brain (neuroplasticity).
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This episode is about my journey into mindfulness and how it helped me at a difficult time in my career. It's also an explanation of where I see this podcast going in the future. I want to dedicate this first episode to a couple of angels, Chelsea and Casey.