NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – For many, our jobs are to stay at home but that’s not the case for first responders who are on the front lines of every crisis, risking their lives and their safety. KRQE News 13 anchor Crystal Gutierrez spoke with the board secretary of Behind the Badge New Mexico, Emily Luna about what the community can do to return the favor for first responders.
Behind the Badge NM is a nonprofit organization that created a fund to pay for counseling and ancillary services for first responders and their families. Their goal is to end the stigma of mental healthcare within the first responders community, to help provide counseling, and to create a community-based support system within the state.
Emily explains that as with other organizations during the COVID-19 health crisis, Behind the Badge NM has had to move their operations online and their practitioners are having to meet with clients video conferencing platforms. Other services such as yoga and reiki have also moved to live streaming.
“We’re trying to support our first responders the best way we can, of course, this is a situation where they are even more stressed out so we encourage them to practice self-care and we’re available to them if they need any of those types of services,” said Emily. She explains that during this time, first responders are having to deal with additional stressors as there are shortages of Personal Protective Equipment and they’re having to make tough on-the-job decisions as more hospitals are occupied.
“Not only are they dealing with all of these things, they also have to go home to their families, they get exposed, there might be more tension in their families as well and we also offer services to their families and so we know that it is critical, and it can become critical,” said Emily.
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