PERMA members and others are invited to gather in New Windsor, NY July 25 for an intensive seminar on the causes, symptoms, and management of PTSD in police and firefighters.

The session will be led by Dr. William McIntyre and Dr. David Kelley of Public Safety Psychology.

The seminar will not only deal with the basics of PTSD but also provide in-depth discussion of how police and fire departments can support their members’ psychological health by encouraging a socially supportive environment. A department’s administration is frequently cited as the primary source of stress for police and firefighters, so supervisors should be cognizant of each member’s workload and should promote a peer support system.

“The message can be boiled down to three words: You’re not alone,” said Dr. Kelley.

Because early detection of PTSD symptoms and intervention are key to prevention, seminar attendees will learn how to be on the alert for abrupt shifts in behavior in their peers and subordinates, and when and how to refer affected members to the appropriate support program. Attendees will also learn when a member of their department with advanced symptoms of PTSD should be removed from duty and referred to treatment.

PERMA members who attended a session in March by the experts from Public Safety Psychology were uniformly impressed. Evaluation comments heralded the presenters as “great” with “real life examples and experiences. Such an important topic.”

The session on July 25 will be held at the Orange County Police Chiefs’ Association from 1-4 p.m. Anyone interested in attending can contact Lew Moskowitz, PERMA’s public safety risk management specialist, at lmoskowitz@neami.com or 888-737-6269, ext. 3083.