First Responder Initiative

Every year, we lose more first responders to suicide than in the line of duty. To solve this problem, we launched the Struggle Well First Responder Initiative in 2021 to bring transformative PTG-based training into the first responder culture.

The purpose of the Initiative is to ensure those that serve on the frontlines of our society can transform struggle into strength and growth, and be of service to themselves, their family, community, and country. Since launching this effort, we have brought PTG to more than 500 agencies in 14 states.

The First Responder initiative is brought to you by Firstnet, built by AT&T

We are deeply grateful FirstNet, Built by AT&T for their sponsorship of our transformative Struggle Well First Responder Initiative.

Why Support First Responders

More first responders die by suicide than in the line of duty. Furthermore, an estimated that 30-40 percent are struggling with significant mental health challenges. The vast majority of these men and women find traditional mental health approaches inaccessible or ineffective.

Current efforts to help first responders don’t work – and here’s why

Many efforts to help first responders deal with their struggles focus on diminishment, disorder, dysfunction, and diagnosis. In this world, the vast majority of those who find themselves struggling believe that it will never get better. This idea is captured in the words of Henry David Thoreau: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. They honestly think there is no choice left.”

The result? Most first responders feel they can only select one of two options — (1) denial – pretending that things are better than they are, or (2) accepting permanent diminishment – a recipe for despair and potentially suicide.

We – and they – desperately need and deserve a new and innovative approach. An approach that is comprehensive, founded in hope and possibility, and one that offers the possibility of growth after struggle. That is exactly why Boulder Crest created the First Responder Initiative. An effort sponsored by FirstNet, Built by AT&T and supported generously by the Gary Sinise Foundation and Community-Police Relations Foundation.

For every one healthy first responder, hundreds of people are exponentially impacted.

The First Responder Initiative is one way that we are bringing our vision into reality: a world where all combat veterans, first responders, and their families have the training, skills, and support they need to transform their struggle into lifelong Posttraumatic Growth

Transformation in Action

The First Responder Initiative is transforming the culture of agencies and departments from across the country.

Watch the FirstNet Series on Struggle Well
“I think the mentality used to be… you suck it up and you keep going…That culture at the police department...has completely changed.”
Dominic Flores, Tucson Police Department

Explore all PTG resources & research 

We’ve collected the most recent, relevant, and evidence-based scientific papers, descriptive videos, and trusted PTG resources to help you explore Posttraumatic Growth.

Visit our PTG library What is Posttraumatic Growth?
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Did you know?
Public Safety Personnel have far higher rates of exposure to potentially traumatic events compared to civilians.
We have a moral responsibility to our communities to offer hope, not a diminished life.
Dr. Anna Fitch Courie, Director, Responder Wellness, FirstNet Program at AT&T

Struggle Well is a Fraternal Order of Police Approved Program

Struggle Well is also certified by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and Arizona Peace Officer Standards Training (POST).