Supporting First Responders: Recognizing Heroes' Humanity

First responders, true heroes who selflessly serve their communities, often bear the weight of stress and trauma in silence, believing that their duty to save lives precludes asking for help. Heroes are humans, too, deserving of support and care. Humanity is what makes first responders so brave and good at their jobs. Recognizing their heroism, Gateway Healthcare is dedicated to providing a range of resources to help first responders manage the emotional challenges of their vital roles.

First Responders

First Responder Phone Helplines 

Code 9 Project

Available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, the Code 9 Project hotline is an anonymous helpline specifically for first responders. It is answered by trained clinicians who specialize in first responder needs. 844-HOPE-247 (844-467-3247)

National Suicide Hotline

Text BADGE to #988: When BADGE is texted to the national suicide hotline at #988, counselors will be notified that a first responder is requesting help. #988 is anonymous and available to everyone in any location.

Provider Search

Local Providers – Acute Crisis

Critical Incident Stress Management Team (CISM) — Rhode Island non-profit team developed to support our first responders in acute crisis, as well as after the incident when planning for the future. Anne Balboni (department response) can be reached at 401-763-2778.

Local Providers – To Talk It Out

Grief Counseling Support  Line of duty support can be reached at 855-970-3727.

Residential Treatment Programs for First Responders

McLean LEADER Program — Law Enforcement, Active Duty, Emergency Responder inpatient facility providing treatment for mental health and addictions recovery. Call 617-855-3141 or visit

Health and Wellness

Art Therapy, Yoga, and Wellness Resources

  • Man Therapy — bring your sense of humor to a platform designed for men seeking to explore the enigmatic world of emotions. Man Therapy offers a range of resources, including self-assessments, engaging exercises, insightful articles, quick videos, and inspiring testimonials. Rob Harrison, MD leads the local chapter based in Washington County, Rhode Island.
  • Authentic Abstraction First Responder Foundation — developed by first responders from Barrington, Fall River, and Pawtucket, the foundation offers post traumatic stress disorder art workshops, yoga, and advocacy.
  • YogaShield — this non-profit developed by first responders helps others address stress, build resiliency, and gain physical health. Services are available virtually or in-person, and the website includes exercises and information.


  • Move to Heal – with locations in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, this program provides Crossfit training, group therapy, and nutrition services to assist first responders through the recovery process of PTSD and addictions. There is no fee for this program. “Move a muscle, change a life.”
  • United Community Martial Arts Institute of Rhode Island — located in North Providence, Crisis Intervention Team Officer Shihan Thomas Evans offers free memberships and sessions to first responders.

Resource Library


  • No One Fights Alone shares in-depth conversations about the challenges of serving as a first responder. 
  • Enduring the Badge Podcast — explores work/life balance, including how to transition between the two and the ways public services impacts those that respond first. 
  • The Squad Room — explores burnout, how to improve personal development to avoid it, and how to develop resiliency in the face of stressors in the field, at the department, and at home. 
  • Badge to the Bone was developed by two seasoned first responders who wanted to bring mental wellness and resiliency conversations to the front of the room. 
  • The LEO First Podcast — focuses on the daily life of those working in public safety, including exercises, special guest speakers, and story sharing from those who serve our communities every day.
  • Responder Resilience — focuses on the topics of resiliency, departmental needs, and how to maintain physical and mental wellness as a first responder.


  • Bullet Proof — designed for police officers with content that explores all areas of wellness needs, including self-assessments, physical, financial, mental, and spiritual health. The website also offers peer support, chaplaincy, and other resources links.
  • The 100 Club program — addresses the wellness challenges in the public safety profession for officers, firefighters, and their families.
  • The Code 9 Project — developed to ensure first responders know they are not alone. Resources include a 24/7 anonymous helpline, meditations, peer support, therapy dogs, and chaplaincy.
  • The All Clear Foundation — supports all first responders “from hire to retire.”
  • Man Therapy — a national organization designed with a sense of humor to support men who want help.


First Responder Book Recommendations

  • Gilmartin, Kevin. M. 2021. Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement: A guide for officers and their families. Revised Edition. E-S Press Inc.
  • Hamel, Kathryn. 2022. Body, Mind, and Badge: Strategies for navigating trauma and resilience in law enforcement. Made to Change the World Publishing.
  • Colegrove, Kim. 2023. The Mindfulness for Warriors Handbook: Stress reduction, trauma recovery, and resilience building for first responders. Mango Publisher.
  • Bagdade, Gregg. 2023. Mental Health Mayday: A firefighter’s survival guide from recruit to retirement. Msi Press.

Local First Responder Authors

  • Dirobbio, Nicholas. 2021. Invisible Wounds: A cop’s journey of faith through the darkness of PTSD. Nicholas Anthony.
  • Dirobbio, Nicholas. 2023. A Tactical Guide to Spiritual Warfare. Nicholas Anthony.
  • Morse, Michael. 2017. Rescue 911: Tales from a first responder. Post Hill Press.
  • Kearns, Kevin. 2021. There’s Light in the Tunnel: How to survive and thrive with depression. Kevin Kearns.


  • Peaceful Warrior — offers a four minute workout inspired by Dan Millman’s book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior and the Peaceful Warrior series.
    Watch the video 
  • Declutter Your Mind — provides meditation exercises to have in the toolbox of life.
    Watch the series
  • Courageous Warrior Coalition — gives first responders wellness tools. 
    Watch the series 
  • Understand Neurobiology and How It Impacts Health and Wellness Practices with Andrew Huberman, PhD (podcast style).
    Watch the series