Navigating Wellness

Responding to the needs of our first responders

What is compass?

The Compass project is being designed to provide first responders with tools ahead of time which will improve their ability to deal with high-stress situations in the moment, as well as strengthening their resiliency to process any effects of that stress. These tools will promote both physical and mental wellness, and with the heightened skillset, will address compassion fatigue in first responders. Compassion fatigue surveys and focus groups revealed neglected mental health needs among first responders who deal with frequent overdose calls. We want to engage and assist first responders in developing self-care, training, and mental health resources for overcoming burnout that impacts personal, professional, and community wellbeing.

First Responders’ Wellness Center 

One of the top goals of Compass is a comprehensive Wellness Center for First Responders that includes features such as an excercise space, wellness lounge, quiet studio, nutrition center, and relaxation area.

Dan and I went to a pottery class at the museum tonight as part of the City’s self care program for first responders. I’m really excited to see them fired. I have decided to sign up for weekly classes. It felt good to create something with my hands again. I hadn’t realized how much I missed that until tonight 🙂

– Carrie Jones Underwood
(Wife of Huntington Police Office Dan Underwood)


There are many ways in which we can measure the success of the Compass project.


  • Giving first responders a seat at the table is leading to impactful policy changes and strengthening collaboration between agencies
  • Embedding wellness coordinators within first response units is increasing the number of referrals to mental health services
  • Self-care tools are being utilized consistently by first responders
  • Developing and implementing trainings for first responders are cultivating skills related to wellness and self-care
  • Respite activities with families are improving relationships
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