THE PROGRAM WILL LAUNCH ON MAY 16TH DURING MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH.
(New York, NY) – First Responders Children’s Foundation, the national nonprofit that was founded in the aftermath of 9/11 when over 800 children lost a first responder parent, has announced today that the organization will launch a program on May 16, 2022, which provides mental and behavioral support for children of first responders.
The First Responders Children’s Foundation Resiliency Program will protect and strengthen the mental resiliency of the children whose parents protect communities across the nation. These first responders often face challenges shielding their children from the stresses of their job.
First responders are facing unprecedented mental health concerns, including an all-time record of line-of-duty deaths and suicides, increased levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pandemic-related family separation, economic hardship and the long-term impact of 9/11-related illnesses. When the Covid-19 pandemic swept the country, children of first responders felt first-hand the impact that daily life- threatening situations had on a parent, and line of duty deaths among law enforcement and fire services reached unprecedented highs. Consequently, family members of these first responders risk developing secondary trauma. The First Responders Children’s Foundation Resiliency Program addresses the secondary trauma effects on children. A child may exhibit subversive behavior, emotional outbursts, hypervigilance, or act out in other ways, and they may exhibit fear, anxiety, depression, and undeserved shame—as their way of expressing their need for support.
The program provides expert therapy—at no cost to families—to help first responders’ children manage, process and deal with a range of emotional challenges specific to their unique needs.
The First Responders Children’s Foundation Resiliency Program will start accepting applications on May 16, 2022 and will initially provide support to first responders’ children in five states including California, Florida, New York, Tennessee and Texas.
The First Responders Children’s Foundation Resiliency Program has been developed to be:
• Confidential and anonymous
• Provided by licensed mental health professionals
• Accessible both virtually and in-person
• Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
“There is a mental health crisis that has hit the children of first responders the hardest,” said Jillian Crane, President and CEO of First Responders Children’s Foundation. “These children are often suffering in silence when they experience first-hand the impact that the daily life-threatening situations have on their parent. First responders’ children carry the fear with them daily of their parent being injured or killed in the line of duty. They also have elevated stress and anxiety when their parent misses holidays and milestones in their lives.”
The program has been funded by proceeds raised in The Parade of Trees Auction created by corporate partner Universal Music Group Nashville along with the labels top talent including Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Josh Turner, Keith Urban and Reba McEntire, along with Eric Church, George Strait, Luke Bryan and Mickey Guyton and Opry Gaylord Resorts. A portion of a donation made by philanthropist Mackenzie Scott will be allocated to the project as will a portion of proceed raised from streams and sales of the hit duet “Stuck With U” made possible through Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Scooter Braun and the team at SB Projects, including Def Jam Recordings, Republic Records, Amazon Music, Spotify, and Universal Music Group.
First Responders Children’s Foundation is actively raising additional funding to help expand the new program throughout the United States and Territories. The Foundation is appealing to companies and individual donors to donate and make a difference in a child’s life.
About First Responders Children’s Foundation
For 20 years, First Responders Children’s Foundation has been providing college scholarships to the children of first responder parents who have been injured or lost in the line of duty. The Foundation also awards grants to families enduring significant financial hardship and supports educational activities and programs created by first responder organizations to benefit children or the communities in which they live. The First Responders Children’s Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund was established in March 2020 to provide financial hardship grants, PPE, and hotel accommodations to first responders on the front lines of the pandemic. The Foundation also pays for funerals of first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice. More information about First Responders Children’s Foundation is available at www.1stRCF.org.
For First Responders Children’s Foundation:
+1 (646) 912-2681