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Grieving Behind the Badge (GBB)

(The Badge Program)

Grieving Behind the Badge Today, in the United States, what were once considered safe environments are now battlegrounds. No longer are schools, homes, places of business, or churches safe from violent acts of aggression. Moreover, our society is witnessing an alarming increase in homicides, rapes, domestic violence, child abuse, and highway injuries and deaths. The aftermath of these traumatic events is having a devastating and adverse reaction on everyone involved particularly the emergency response professions: the men and women who serve their communities as firefighters, pre-hospital caregivers, and public safety officers. Their daily experiences with life-threatening and highly stressful events are affecting them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Furthermore, divorce, substance abuse, and heart attack rates in these professions are among the highest in the nation. Now, more then ever, there is a need for programs that offer help for coping with grief and trauma.

The Grieving Behind the Badge program does not focus on a single incident, but rather the professional traumas as well as personal life stressors these men and women experience. Classroom instruction is combined with resources and advice to help the students deal with an array of emotional issues. Interactive dialogue provides opportunities for the participants to ask questions, discuss specific issues, and share their experiences with others in a safe environment. The Grieving Behind the Badge training will be beneficial for the new recruit as well as the seasoned veteran. Many departments have invited spouses and other family members to attend also.

Audience: Public safety and emergency response professionals, support staff, their families, and department chaplains

Topics include:

  • Suicide
  • Addiction
  • Coping with the death of a child or multiple fatalities
  • Coping with personal injury, disability, or retirement
  • Crime scenes, death scenes, and nightmares
  • Death of a co-worker/line of duty death
  • Media, mayhem, and public opinion

Objectives:

  • Discuss the warnings signs of suicide and its prevention
  • Relate various addictions to grief and stress
  • Identify specific reasons for stress on the job
  • Provide coping skills to deal with traumatic events and every day stressors

The Grieving Behind the Badge curriculum may be offered as either a training meeting (6 hours) or a shortened presentation suitable for conferences or breakout workshops. These shortened sessions (2-3 hours) will offer educational information as well as an overview of the extended training program.

A special seminar is available for departments and family members following a line of duty death.

Click here to download the Grieving Behind the Badge brochure.

Our Mission

The Sweeney Alliance, a non-profit, Texas-based organization, provides training programs and educational material relating to grief, post-traumatic stress, and suicide prevention for the emergency response community and their families in North America. We promote a mentally healthy work environment through cooperation with local, state, and national fire service and law enforcement agencies and organizations. We make available local grief support groups and electronic newsletters and bereavement resources globally for the public in general.