October 14 | 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm EST
Building a Peer Support Program
Mahlon Johnson, Technician II, Fauquier County (VA) Fire & Rescue
Jessica Saunders, Lieutenant, Fauquier County (VA) Fire & Rescue
Gina Pincosy, Clinical Social Worker, Tanglewood Therapy PLLC
This presentation will explore the importance of a peer support program for firefighters while examining the importance of mental health education. The presenters will work to reduce the stigma of a holistic approach to firefighter health. An explanation of how a peer support program is organized and utilized will be provided.
- Purpose of a peer support team
- The importance of mental health education
- The need for the reduction of stigma in the fire department
- Mental health resources that can be utilized
Before landing a career with Fauquier County, Mahlon was a hospital corpsman in the US Navy. He served six years with one deployment to Iraq in 2005. When Mahlon was discharged, he joined a combat support group which led him to a job helping other veterans make their transition back to civilian life. He has since worked with veterans for four years while pursuing a career with a local fire service. He is now providing the same work with the members of his fire service.
Jessica attended Virginia Military Institute and later received a BA is psychology from George Mason University. She has worked with Fauquier County Fire and Rescue since 2012. Jessica is also currently continuing her education in the field of mental health.
Gina is a Virginia State licensed clinical social worker who has provided behavioral health services and crisis intervention in private practice, community clinics, emergency rooms, police stations, correctional facilities, hospitals, and intensive outpatient environments. She graduated summa cum laude for both her masters and doctorate degrees, with concentrations in clinical mental health and multi-disciplinary preventive mental wellness. Gina has a strong appreciation for her work and lives of public safety professionals, having prior career experience as a professional firefighter and medic, a state fire instructor, an emergency communications specialist and a mental health emergency services therapist.