We are Compass

Responding to the needs of our first responders

Serving our first responders

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.

compass is a tool

The Compass project addresses compassion fatigue using a variety of different methods.

  • Listening: Through focus groups and feedback mechanisms, Compass is integrating first responders into decision-making and designing self-care and training approaches, building trust in an organic and dynamic process through which their needs and ideas are heard.
  • Caring: Compass is furnishing first responders with self-care tools designed to promote healthy behavior changes and offering appreciation activities designed to provide much-needed respite, including massages, yoga, discounted getaways, and family cooking and pottery classes.
  • Treating: Compass is embedding mental health professionals in a new “wellness coordinator” role within first response departments to provide a trusted source of mental health resources and referrals for treatment.
  • Training: Compass is addressing the lack of evidence-based, compassion fatigue training models tailored to substance use crises by convening mental health and first response experts to develop, modify and implement trainings for first responders and community members.
  • Adapting: Giving first responders a seat at the table is leading to impactful policy changes and strengthening collaboration between agencies working on opioid epidemic solutions.
  • Sharing: Huntington is using this platform as a nationally recognized leader in opioid crisis response to help other struggling communities to follow this participatory model.
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