First Responders: Behavioral Health Concerns

$3.00 | CE Hours:1.00 | Intermediate


CE Course Description

First responders are usually the first on the scene to face challenging, dangerous, and draining situations, as well the the first to reach out to disaster survivors and provide emotional and physical support.  This CE course discusses the challenges encountered by first responders during regular duty as well as following disasters, sheds more light on the risks and behavioral health consequences of serving as a first responder, and presents steps that can be taken to reduce these risks either on the individual or institutional levels.

Author:  SAMHSA DTAC, Disaster Technical Assistance Center Supplemental Research Bulletin.  First Responders: Behavioral Health Concerns, Emergency Response, and Trauma.  (2018, May).  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Retrieved from:

CE Course Objectives

1.  Explain three factors behind collateral behavioral health damage in first responders.

2.  Recall how the proximity to the epicenter of the disaster is associated with mental health issues.

3.  Identify the core risk factor for first responders.

4.  Give four reasons why police officers are at increased risk of negative mental health consequences.


CE Outline with Main Points

1.  Background - First Responders' Behavioral Health

a.  Behavioral Health Conditions in Emergency Medical Services Personnel

b.  Behavioral Health Conditions in Firefighters

c.  Behavioral Health Conditions in Police Officers

2.  Risk and Protective Factors for Behavioral Health in First Responders

a.  Pre-disaster / Event Risk and Protective Factors

b.  Risk and Protective Factors During the Disaster / Event

c.  Post-disaster / Event Risk and Protective Factors

3.  Interventions to Reduce Behavioral Health Risks for First Responders

a.  General and Institutional Interventions

b.  Public Health Intervention Models



Social Work Approval

Social Work CE Credit for this course is offered with the following approvals. Many state boards of social work will accept the approvals listed. Provider Approvals by state and license type can be found here.

  • Quantum Units Education is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, CAMFT Provider #89970, to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEP. Quantum Units Education maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content.
  • Florida board for Social Workers CE Provider #50-8650 (Quantum 'immediately' reports CE Credits to Florida licensees) 
  • Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, License No. 159.001261 approved CE Sponsor
  • Ohio CSWMFTB #RCST091701 approved CE Provider
  • Texas Board of SWE #5070 approved CE Provider
  • ACE credit is not offered for this course. A list of courses offering ACE credit can be found here.

To see approvals for a different license type in your state, visit our state by state provider approval listings here.


Course Development: Each course is identified and reviewed by the appropriate Quantum Units Education consultant with professional and licensed expertise in the various disciplines we serve. Our professional consultants oversee course development to satisfy the needs of various professionals based on their board requirements, rate course degrees of difficulty and ensure the course content and exam questions are appropriate, relevant and comprehensive. See our professional staff and their bios here.

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Added On: 2018-09-03

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