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Our emergency responders are important to our community!

The purpose of this research project is to provide counseling services to promote wellness at no cost to local emergency responders (police, fire, EMS, paramedics, dispatchers). We are providing evidence-based treatment delivered by providers who are trained in emergency response cultural awareness. Specifically, we are providing a type of talk therapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy. This treatment approach has extensive evidence supporting its effectiveness for the types of problems that emergency responders are most likely to experience. These include anxiety, depressed mood, posttraumatic stress and over-reliance on alcohol. This treatment approach is adapted to meet the needs of each person. You and your therapist would decide on your treatment goals. Services are provided either via video conference or in person at the University of Pittsburgh based on your preference and in accordance with Pitt’s guidelines regarding the pandemic.

Your involvement would include receiving treatment, consisting of one hour talk therapy sessions about once/week. You would receive between 8 and 20 sessions, depending on your needs. You will also be asked to complete online questionnaires three times: before treatment, right after treatment, and a follow-up assessment about 3 months after treatment ends. The questionnaires will take about 30 minutes. They help track progress toward your goals and help us determine how effective this treatment is and whether it should be made more broadly available to emergency responders. All information regarding your treatment will be confidential. Your employer will not have access to any of this information. The treatment is provided by advanced graduate students in mental health or recent graduates working toward their licensure. These treatment providers are closely supervised by Dr. Meyer, the project director, a licensed psychologist and professor of counseling who has extensive experience working with emergency responders. You will be compensated for completing the questionnaires: $30 at pre-treatment, $50 at post-treatment, and $40 at the follow-up assessment for a total of $120.

Contact us at (412) 624-4004 or firstresponderwellness@pitt.edu to inquire about receiving services.