New program provides mental health support for backcountry SAR volunteers

Problem Solvers

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Colorado’s backcountry first responders are receiving a unique type of assistance when it comes to dealing with stress injury training. 

It’s part of a new pilot program aimed at developing statewide mental health resources for volunteer search and rescue members who otherwise would have little to no professional support.

According to the Summit County Rescue Group, the new stress injury training pilot program launching this month is one way volunteers can receive help.

“The key thing here is to create awareness with folks. And if you have awareness, you can make better choices. You can be prepared and recognize things,” said Aaron Parmet, team medical officer for the Summit County Rescue Group.

The program is aimed at individual stress response, team stress response and ways volunteers can learn best practices for major incidents support.

It will help provide “psychological first aid,” according to Parmet.

“And that’s aimed at helping an individual who’s just gone through a traumatic event, and that can even be our patients,” he explained.

The program includes a color-coded graph to help members identify certain stress and emotion levels.

The new pilot program is being supported by state funding.

Several members of the Summit County Rescue Group have already completed the eight-hour curriculum.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most Read

Top Stories