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Va. county opens wellness center for first responders

The Public Safety Wellness Center in Fairfax County will offer first responders a full range of services



By Bill Carey

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Fairfax County first responders celebrated the opening of a new wellness center on June 12, providing a full range of therapeutic and counseling services to firefighters, EMS providers and police officers.

The Public Safety Wellness Center is the first of its kind in northern Virginia and is open to first responders seeking help with the traumatic situations they face during their work, WTTG reported.

“Police officers and firefighters see things that are not normal, and they see things that are not normal at a rate much higher than the rest of the population,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said. “To be able to have a place where our officers can go and talk about their experiences, to make sure they are in the best place mentally, to be able to serve this community is the absolute way forward.”

The center will focus on first responders’ mental health, wellbeing, and physical health. The center is in an office building near the Fair Oaks Mall for easy access.

The center will offer “all clinical services to include trauma informed care, substance abuse services, stress management, anything you could think of in terms of clinical work that we’re going to do to provide to our public safety personnel,” Fairfax County Police Department Health and Wellness Division Director Vera Daniel told Patch.

The center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and offers after-hours and virtual services. Staff expect to provide at least 5,000 clinical hours of help in their first year.