Frontline Strong Together Project ‘Peer Counselors’ Training

For some time now, you may have heard brief messages regarding a program we are proud to be a part of – the Frontline Strong Together Project. Because it involved a grant from the legislature (Thank you, Mike Mueller!), and significant time investment from professionals at Wayne State University laid the foundation for the Frontline Strong program. However, the road to this announcement has been long and complicated. 

I’m proud that these efforts have finally brought us to a proper opening and introduction of the FST5/Frontline Strong Together Project. The “5” in the FST5 reveals the vision of this program in that the number represents police, fire, corrections, 9-1-1, and EMS. No first responder occupation was left out. I’m proud of that! The toll-free statewide contact number for the program is now active and their website of resources is now live. The number for help is 833-34-STRONG (833-347-8766) and their website can be found here

There are lots of things yet to accomplish, however. Full-time professionals will be trained to field every call from every first responder. They will be sensitive that police want to speak to police officers and firefighters wish to talk to firefighters, and so on. 

Consequently, we are looking for persons in those fields to come forward to serve as “peer counselors” in the caller’s local area to serve as a “follow-up” on that initial call. Some calls will be for services or help on personal matters. Other calls will be more urgent. The professional who answers will determine the direction the call must be channeled and will ultimately, if necessary, find a local peer to ensure the services were rendered and helpful. 

The State of Michigan is divided into eight regions across both peninsulas. Each will have trained peer counselors and vetted mental health professionals available to serve these regions. We ask you to attend the Critical Incident Response training and support the first responder community members who are facing a crisis. This training is being held, at no cost, in each region. Training sessions are scheduled for August and September and are on the website.

The list will include contact numbers and email addresses. Please consider attending one of these training sessions. This education will be valuable to you in many ways – allowing you to offer help to lp someone in your occupation. It’s important to note that this training provides you with the necessary qualified immunity you have a right to demand. If you’re interested or have questions, please email Manisha Leary at mleary@med.wayne.edu. We need your help. 

Updates will continue! 

Jim Tignanelli
President, POAM

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