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Draper center offers free wellness training for first responders

Orem Police Chief Josh Adams to present on mental health, leadership

By Kelcie Hartley - | Aug 6, 2022

Courtesy Jordan Lee

A flyer for the Deer Hollow mental health training for first responders scheduled for Aug. 24, 2022.

For a first responder, there’s no telling what may happen in a given day and over time, that can take its toll.

That’s why Deer Hollow in Draper is providing a free, trauma-focused mental health and wellness training for first responders at the Salt Lake City Community College Conference Center on Aug. 24.

Jordan Lee, Deer Hollow director of professional services, said there are 500 spots available for the event and only a few first responders have signed up.

“So, I got a room for 500 people, and I’m a little worried because first responders are last minute,” Lee told the Daily Herald. “They don’t usually like to put their names on things, so we only have 15 or so people, but I’m hoping to get at least 300 people to attend the training.”

The event will be held from 8 a.m. until noon and feature two guest speakers, the first being Orem Police Chief Josh Adams, according to Lee. During the first hour of the event, Adams talk will be about his perspective on leadership and wellness.

Lee said Adams experienced a tragic event, triggering trauma and PTSD. After he tended to his trauma, Adams became very proactive in supporting mental health services for other first responders. Adams was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment.

The second guest speaker will be Deer Hollow Director of Trainings and Education Matt Quackenbush. He will teach the first responders about trauma, how to recognize it and more.

“You’ll learn the basics of the neurobiology of trauma, how it changes the physical structure of the brain, and the way the body responds to threat and stress,” Lee said. “You’ll learn about the new and cutting-edge treatments being used in the field of Traumatology. When we’re done, you’ll walk away with easy-to-use take-home tools and techniques, more capable of changing the way your brain works and how your body responds to threat and stress.”

Quackenbush did not respond to request for comment.

All first responders are encouraged to attend this training. Lee believes most people view first responders as police and fire personnel, but there are others who need assistance too.

“So often dispatch, corrections, EMS and military are left out of the first responder title,” he said. “Most often people think of fire and police, but there’s so many who suffer. Even administration suffers a lot of the effects of trauma in that type of workplace, so the goal is to provide the best possible resources like the free training.”

Utah County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Spencer Cannon said Sheriff Mike Smith fully supports this event and encourages first responders to attend.

“We don’t have anyone directly involved with organizing it, but Sheriff Smith supports it. He’s made it available for deputies to attend if they want to,” Cannon said.

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