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The More You Tell . . . The Easier It Becomes

Healthy-2Bbody-2Band-2Bmind-300x198Around this time last year I was in the beginning stages of healing from the wounds of post-traumatic stress that had haunted me for over 16 years.  My cry for help finally came during the second day of the inaugural Illinois Firefighter Peer Support training held in Bolingbrook in April of 2014.  On that day I made a phone call to initiate counseling with one of the best FPS therapists I know, and the rest is a living history.  Through a combination of psychotherapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, yoga, nutrition response testing, massage therapy, and reiki (Cody and I will touch on these topics as part of the ILFFPS Holistic Wellness Initiative) I have become a more centered and peaceful human being. Along the way I discovered that talking can be some of the best medicine.

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Dropping the D is Awesome . . . What’s Next?

The following referenced article was submitted by ILFFPS member Danielle Fary of Homer Township FPD which became the subject matter for this current posting.  Thanks, Dee.
Peer-2BSupport-2BLogo In the recent online article Dropping the ‘D’ in PTSD is becoming the norm in Washington (2015, June 30), Washington Post columnist Colby Itkowitz related how politicians and veteran’s advocates are changing terminology when referring to post-traumatic stress disorder, in the hope of reducing the stigma attached to this social anxiety disorder.  Itkowitz noted that during a recent speaking engagement, former President George W. Bush said that from now on he would drop the word disorder and only refer to PTSD as “Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS)”.  Likewise, when President Obama hosted a White House gathering for veterans, he never used the word disorder.  Congress also seems to be taking up this new cause.

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Giving a Voice to Behavioral Health

Peer-2BSupport-2BLogoGreetings to whom this may present,
Welcome to the Peer Reporter, a space dedicated to where you will find information on things concerning the Illinois Firefighter Peer Support Team (ILFFPS) and more.  My name is Tim Grutzius, one of the Peer Coordinators for the team, and I have the privilege of maintaining this conduit of information.  However, this is a team blog and all are welcome to submit anything, on any topic, related to our mission of providing both peer support and behavioral health education.  To get this conversation started, here is a list of ideas to which you may feel free to add to:

·         Reports from the field: Personal accounts of team members and Firefighter Psychological Support (FPS) therapists on what it was like to make a difference in a firefighter or paramedic’s life (thoughts, feelings, etc.).
·         Profiles and Interviews: Interviews of team members and FPS therapists that will provide readers added depth of choice and best possible match to suit their needs.
·         General Information: On fundraisers, workshops, training opportunities, etc.
·         Illinois Holistic Wellness Initiative: This initiative is going to provide readers with the mind-body-spirit basics of self-care, as outlined in the 3rd Edition of the IAFF-IAFC Wellness Fitness Initiative.  Our goal is to breathe life into this all important document that was first published in 1997.
·         Miscellaneous info:  Any other information (websites, blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, etc.) you wish to share with readers that you feel will help them life a more balanced existence.


If you are willing to contribute to this project, send all submissions to  We are living in the here and now of something much greater than ourselves: giving a voice to behavioral health in the fire service.  Until next time-
Take care, be well, and stay safe

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