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Arizona nonprofit releases mental health app for first responders

PHOENIX– An Arizona nonprofit is making mental health care more accessible to first responders through the rollout of its Bulletproof app.

“Arizona first responders are in critical need of hands-on, confidential tools to help connect them with the most up-to-date wellness services,” 100 Club CEO Angela Harrolle told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

Their goal is to get first responders what they need quickly and privately through the app, which be fully operational by the end of October.

“Our hope is that having it be anonymous will allow first responders to feel more comfortable in reaching out for help,” Harrolle said.

“Whether they are law enforcement or firefighters, they don’t want to walk into the health unit. … Sometimes they’re even scared to use their own agency’s resources because they don’t want to be tracked.”

Harrolle believes first responders are worried about the stigma that is attached to mental health.

First responders will be able to log into the app with only a few necessary requirements, including what department and agency they work for.

“We want to be able to know if we see several police officers or firefighters requesting help in a certain department than maybe that agency needs to pour more resources in that area,” Harrolle added.

The app will be available for families of first responders, too, to help them get a better understanding on how to recognize warning signs and find help.

“So whether you need to find a therapist, you can go to a teletherapy finder and say, ‘Find a therapist near me,” Harrolle explained.

The 100 Club said they are also working on creating a specific portion of their app for firefighters seeking mental health assistance, called Fireproof. The date of its arrival has not yet been released.

The nonprofit, along with the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, are honoring Saturday as Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Day.

“Thus far in 2019, the 100 Club has paid benefits to nine families of first responders that have taken their lives,” Harrolle said.

To find out more about the Bullerproof concept, the 100 Club of Arizona recommends the public to check out the website and follow them on social media.

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