Support for First Responders

Support for First Responders

How Are Your Paramedics Faring?

What is your absenteeism rate?
How frequently are Paramedics away for mental health leaves?
What is the turnover rate among Paramedics?
Are Paramedics utilizing the provided services, and if so, are they expressing satisfaction with them?

As you’re undoubtedly aware, the demanding and stressful nature of Paramedic work takes a heart-breaking toll on mental health. Studies indicate that the prevalence of mental disorders among first responders surpasses that of the general population by more than 30%. This imposes significant burdens on both human well-being and financial resources.

A New Solution 

We have created a unique and comprehensive program that offers crucial pre-crisis support to Paramedics. Building authentic community together is a proactive approach to improving relationships, group functioning, and cohesion, which serves as a buffer against the challenges of this stressful occupation.

How Can Community Building Support Paramedics?

The value of authentic human connection, of community, so little understood – until now –  and so routinely undervalued, is paramount to our well-being and mental health. One of the recommendations of the Canadian Mental Health Association to bolster mental resilience in First Responders is:

“Establishing a support network: foster connections with peers and loved ones who comprehend the unique demands of first responder roles. A robust support system can offer solace and practical guidance during challenging periods.”

This is precisely what our program will do.

Do you Already Provide Peer Support?

Peer support is valuable, but what we’re offering is peer support on a whole new level. Within a community, you’ll always find someone who understands, appreciates, and genuinely cares about you. By fostering a genuine community among Paramedics, we amplify this support in a truly impactful and effective way.

The Paramedics Community Building Program

The program will complement existing support systems by offering an additional layer of support. It will provide a safe and inclusive space for members to connect and share experiences, foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie, and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. The program has 5 objectives:

  1. Establish a Strong and Supportive Community: growing authentic relationships among colleagues, and improving group functioning and cohesion will create a buffer against the rigours of this stressful occupation.
  2. Cultivate Cultural Alignment: Integrating elements that reinforce mission, values, goals, and visions, participants are guided to align personally and within their organizational/community contexts, fostering a deeper sense of purpose and belonging.
  3. Develop Soft Skills: Within a genuine community, developing communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills is intrinsic.
  4. Promote Community Consciousness: Instilling a sense of community consciousness among Paramedics can significantly enhance their interactions with those they serve, fostering greater empathy and responsiveness. Community consciousness: we are all in this together.
  5. Create Community Leaders: Training participants in community leadership, the skills of cultivating, guiding, and sustaining an authentic community. This extends the program’s impact beyond its boundaries, permeating community consciousness throughout the organization.

Program Structure

  1. Immersive Introduction: a 3-hour, live, Zoom session to familiarize participants with community-building principles and to begin building an authentic community together.
  2. Deep Dive Sessions: twelve 90-minute live Zoom sessions spaced two weeks apart to delve more deeply into the subject matter and continue the community-building process.

The Program also includes:

  1. Tools and Frameworks to facilitate the continuation of Bi-weekly gatherings beyond the program’s conclusion.
  2. Ongoing Support for one year following the conclusion of the program.

Program Evaluation

All Kalliergo programs incorporate participant self-evaluation through pre- and post-program surveys. This evaluative approach is pivotal as it allows us to gauge the program’s effectiveness in establishing a secure and inclusive community environment.

We measure success through participant feedback, focusing on:

  1. Increased sense of community.
  2. Willingness to seek professional support.
  3. Enhanced ability to identify and support peers in distress.
  4. Greater job satisfaction.

Some Feedback From Kalliergo Program Participants

Kalliergo Community Building programs have demonstrated effectiveness among diverse groups, spanning students in different educational environments, municipal leaders, small non-profits, and national corporations. Here is some participant feedback:

“Six weeks ago, had you asked me to define community, I would have given you the definition of a group. Not only do I have a greater understanding of the scope and the complexities of a true community, I am equipped with practical tools to go out into the world and build meaningful and authentic communities with those around me.”  Teri McMackin, Councillor, Village of Petitcodiac

“In the end, I left feeling like we had developed a good group of solid community members which we can now rely upon whenever needed. I would recommend this process to anyone looking to understand the real benefits of true community building and Lori is certainly the right person to make it happen.”  Aimee Chapman, Claims Supervisor, The Co-operators

See more feedback from our programs here.


The Kalliergo Community Building Initiative for Paramedics is a proactive strategy for fostering the mental health and overall well-being of our important First Responders. This is accomplished by promoting the growth of an authentic community culture with them where genuine connections and group dynamics will not only bolster them throughout the everyday challenges of their career but will also serve as a source of vital support when needed most, recognizing when one of their own is in distress and encouraging them to avail themselves of professional services available.

If this is something you would like to explore, I would be happy to meet with you via Zoom to discuss it with you. Contact me to arrange a meeting. When Paramedics engage in community building, it is a game changer. Watch the video to see why.

Please note: We realize that some departments with frontline workers may not be able to dedicate extensive time to a program, regardless of its comprehensiveness and effectiveness. Feel free to reach out to me for a complimentary Zoom consultation where we can explore alternative program structures such as our 9-hour Community Leadership Program or even shorter options. Our programs are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. Let’s discuss your concerns, availability, and budget, and together we can create an ideal solution for you.

Photo by Jonnica Hill on Unsplash