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Re: Building Families

A New Program for Spouses/Partners of First Responders

The Family First Responder (FFR) research study is very excited to invite family members of our police, fire, and paramedic services in BC, AB, SK, and ON to join the feasibility study of our first program! Building on the research we have done in the past two years with police, fire, and paramedic members and their spouses/partners, we are calling our first FFR program Re: Building Families. This title is a direct salute to the strength, identity, and character of first responders and their families, but also a recognition that some parts of the family are vulnerable to the operational stressors and traumas that enter the home through the vital work of first responders. Our program will address the impact of operational stressors on relationships, identity, and values that are critical to building a strong and healthy family.

We are pleased to offer two ways that spouses/partners of police, fire, and paramedic members can participate in the Re: Building Families program:

1. Virtual Group Participation: Starting the week of January 30, 2023, spouses/partners can join a 6-week virtual program (90 mins/week) with up to 10 other spouses/partners. Licensed psychologists will lead participants in learning about and discussing the strengths and risks of living in a first responder family. Times and days for the groups will be announced in early January.

2. Self-Directed Participation: Starting in February 2023, spouses/partners of first responders can participate in a 6-week self-directed study of the learning material as presented in the above virtual groups, but without the weekly peer interaction and guided learning experience.

All participants will be asked to complete pre, post, and 3-month follow-up questionnaires, and in doing so will receive gift cards. We are also excited to offer – for both spouses/partners and their police, fire, or paramedic member – the opportunity to provide biophysiological data during the study via Garmin wearables. This will allow us to gather data on sleep, activity, heart rate, and stress variables via an app that is synced to the Garmin.

So . . . if you are a spouse/partner of a police, fire, or paramedic member living in BC, AB, SK, or ON and would like to receive a screening form to determine your eligibility to participate in one of our programs, please send us your name and e-mail address below. We would love for you to participate in the Re: Building Families program, and we hope that the results of our study will help to build stronger families and stronger first responders for years to come!