Letter: Help for first responders

I read with great interest the article in a recent issue of The Lima News, entitled, “Retreats help first responders regroup.” Kudos to retired police officers Mick Yinger and Michael Pavolino who founded the nonprofit The Bridge in 2018 to help first responders deal with the critical incidents they meet during most shifts of duty.

A similar program/retreat as The Bridge is being offered in nearby Seneca County. Operation Resilience is a 3 ½ day program that consists of an educational component and group process. First responders learn the various degrees of stress and their impact on the brain. Professionals in various areas of expertise provide a “banquet” of coping mechanisms. A signed confidentiality agreement and a serene environment provide peers the right conditions to talk safely about their experiences with others who know their world ‘from the inside.’

This program is offered at St. Francis Spirituality Center on the serene St. Francis Campus, where home-cooked meals and comfortable lodging are also provided. Thanks to generous grants from the Patriot Day Salute Fund and the St. Francis Grant Fund, this training program/retreat is being offered entirely free of charge for as long as the funds last. The next program will be held October 31st– November 3rd. Interested individuals can learn more at www.franciscanretreats.org under “First Responders” or by calling 419-443-1485.

Sister Edna Michel



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