IN THE ARENA
Episode 001 - WHY NOW?
In the inaugural episode of IN THE ARENA, Travis and Taylor start with answering the question that is often asked most during his training seminars, “Why now?” This question is usually followed up with questions about current trends, statistics, and the argument of dollars available to fund mental health wellness programs. This episode dives into the opinions that Travis has, and questions that Taylor has as a civilian, about the current trend of First Responders seeking assistance in their journey through mental health wellness and awareness.
Episode 002 - CRITICAL INCIDENTS & DECOMPRESSION
During Travis's time in Law Enforcement, he and his team responded to multiple calls that would be labeled as "Critical Incidents." After these calls, the team would come together for a Debrief, which Travis describes as being an "important piece of the puzzle" to find growth opportunities.
Now, Travis's narrative has shifted to not only encourage a tactical debrief, but a mental health debrief as well where first responders are given the chance to speak towards the potential trauma they just encountered. Travis is directing this topic towards leadership and is encouraging administrators, executives, and team leaders within agencies to do an inventory and evaluation of their post-Critical Incident practices.
Episode 003 - NO MAN UNSCATHED ft. Justin Organ
It is nearly impossible to make it out of a First Responder career without trauma. Whether your career lasts 5 years or 20+ years, your heroic service will lead you to horrific events. While hindsight may be 20/20, Travis and Justin explore culture, stigma, and how they would change if they could speak to their younger selves about mental health wellness. By sharing their stories of strength through healing, they hope to inspire other brothers and sisters in the first responder community to tell their story and to #smashthestigma.
Episode 004 - NAVIGATING THE HOLIDAYS
'Tis the season... of additional stress. The holidays are already a crazy time of year for most people, but when your career is a first responder, the craziness multiplies nearly exponentially. In this episode, Travis reflects on the holidays during his own law enforcement career and the effects they had on his mental health. He also explores how his family was affected by the career and shares sage advice for not just the first responders, but their family members as well. The most important thing to remember is to advocate for the things that will keep you healthy and well.
Episode 005 - LEADERSHIP: The Key to Change
An incredible test of leadership is the ability to solve a problem before they become an emergency. When it comes to Mental Health Wellness & Awareness in the first responder community, avoiding the conversation or encouraging the stigma is completely unacceptable. Travis shares his insight of the current stigma of mental health in the first responder community, and how projects to see that stigma change in 2024 starting with leadership.
Episode 006 - CULTURAL COMPETENCE ft. Jennifer Cooper, LPC, NCC
The culture around Mental Health Wellness in the First Responder community is changing; slowly but surely. A career that is seemingly so heroic is also quite horrific. First Responders are exactly that… the first to respond. And often times, the situations they are called to are traumatic, rattling, and disgusting scenes that civilians can hardly fathom deeper than what is shown on TV. In this episode, Travis is joined by one of My Arena’s trusted clinicians, Jennifer Cooper, LPC, NCC who can talk the talk because she has truly walked the life of a First Responder herself. Through her time as a Probation Officer and working in Crisis Response with a Fire Department, she too understands the critical incidents that can be defining moments of the career. We explore her passion, why she chooses to work with First Responders, and her insight on how to #smashthestigma.
Episode 007 - CRITICAL INCIDENT POLICY & PRACTICE
Dependent on the size of agency or department, First Responders will respond to an average of 200-700 critical incidents during a 20 year career. And for most agencies, critical incidents that warrant follow-up beyond the debrief are rare occurrences. In this episode, Travis dives deeper into the importance of creating policies that keep our first responders from falling through the cracks after an incident.