News Center

Friday, October 3, 2014

Franciscan St. Francis Health collaborates with others to offer new counseling options to Indy's first responders

Christine Frederick offers insight to WISH-TV's Julian
Grace following a news conference at the Old City Hall.
INDIANAPOLIS – First-response employees of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) now have an additional counseling option to turn to in times of need, courtesy of a collaboration between six local hospital systems and the Indy Public Safety Foundation.

Franciscan St. Francis Health counseling services, Community Health Network – Behavioral Health Services, Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health, Fairbanks Treatment Center,  Indiana University Health and St.Vincent Stress Center are each donating resources and expertise to make Comprehensive Counseling Services a reality, all in support of the city’s first responders and the Indy Public Safety Foundation.

“We are grateful to all our hospital partners for their generosity and the care they are showing for the men and women of Public Safety,” said Director of Public Safety, Troy Riggs. “I continue to be humbled by the support our first responders receive from the Indianapolis community -- citizens and businesses, alike.”

Christian Ellis-Frederick, Employee Assistance Program manager for Franciscan St. Francis, was among the invited panelists on hand for the news conference Oct. 3.

The new, confidential service, accessible through a 24-hour hotline, is live as of today and is designed to supplement existing counseling options already available to DPS first responders through the City of Indianapolis or through their respective DPS division.

Counseling is available to public safety personnel and their spouses, partners, significant others, children, and other household members. Comprehensive Counseling Services offers assistance for a number of issues including, but not limited to, coping with stress and change; family, marital, and significant other relationships; child, adolescent and parenting issues; depression and/or anxiety; and alcohol and drug abuse issues.

“DPS employees already have access to excellent counseling and support options,” said Nick Ball, Executive Director of the Indy Public Safety Foundation. “First responders expressed a desire to have access to an additional option that was community-based and existed outside of the framework of their employment. These six organizations came together in a selfless partnership with our foundation and made this a reality for the benefit of those who protect our city.”

The service will be available to DPS employees for a period of six months, at which point the program will be evaluated by all stakeholders.