Social Services

Public-private partnership to address moral injury in first responders launches in Fort Worth

Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker, along with Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes, Fort Worth Fire Chief Jim Davis and the American Warrior Association (AWA), announced the launch of R3 – Respond, Restore, Resolve at the Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex. This groundbreaking initiative marks a significant milestone in wellness support for first responders establishing a comprehensive approach to addressing moral injury through this pioneering public-private partnership. All programs associated with R3 are privately funded.

Moral injury is the damage done to one’s conscience or moral compass when a person perpetrates, witnesses, or fails to prevent acts that transgress one’s own moral beliefs, values, or ethical codes of conduct.

“We have worked closely with all levels within our fire and police departments to ensure R3’s impactful deployment,” said Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker. “It’s time to change the stigma around mental health and start encouraging proactive mental health conversations to address the pain and anguish our first responders experience every day.  This program can be one of the most monumental Public-Private Partnerships of our time.” 

R3 focuses on a holistic approach to wellness by integrating mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual support to address moral injury. It offers training, access to non-clinical preventative care resources, and culturally competent counseling, all with a goal to eliminate potential stigma and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of departmental support.

“Even before the formalization of this program, we have had officers attend this groundbreaking training with significant positive outcomes,” commented Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes. “This training program can be life-changing and enables our folks to ultimately be better equipped to manage morally injurious events and provide our officers with expanded skills for managing public interactions.”

R3 offers benefits that extend across all fronts. First responders gain access to crucial tools and resources enabling them to address moral injury, ultimately fostering resilience and well-being. For departments and agencies, the program promotes a healthier workforce, leading to reduced absenteeism and improved overall performance and morale. Together, these efforts will directly benefit the community by enhancing officers’ mental strength to de-escalate situations; ultimately strengthening relationships between first responders and the communities they serve.

“The health and wellness of our members is our top priority. We are excited to partner with the AWA to provide additional opportunities for building a more resilient workforce,” said Fort Worth Fire Chief Jim Davis. “We appreciate their dedication to the men and women of the Fort Worth Fire Department.”

The AWA’s dedication to supporting military members, veterans, and first responders is the foundation of R3. By providing a spectrum of support programs, the AWA champions the well-being of our nation’s heroes, aligning with R3’s mission to offer comprehensive, holistic support. Additional partner organizations and programs will be reviewed and approved through the R3 Partner Vetting Committee within the Police and Fire Department Wellness Unit which houses the R3 Program.

Rooted in Fort Worth, R3 is designed for scalability with the AWA at the helm to ultimately guide its expansion across the nation. The first of its kind, this program serves as a model for addressing first responder wellness, ensuring communities everywhere can benefit from its innovative approach.

The AWA has also curated and underwritten a Culturally Competent Counseling program for both the fire and police departments. The program is run through the AWA and its network of counselors to assure the confidentiality of employees seeking counseling.

source: press release publishes every week.
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Barbara Clark Galupi