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Bridging the Gap Between Mental Health Illness and Recovery for First Responders

Bridging the Gap Between Mental Health Illness and Recovery for First Responders

Prosper is now home to a unique mental health program helping first responders across North Texas. 3 ForTheLove is a non-profit organization started by Jennifer and Brian Halley in June 2018 to help meet the growing need for first responder support through counseling, peer support, and customized treatment plans. In the Fall of 2018, 3FTL joined forces with Dr. Marcy Henson, DNP APRN FNP-C of Family Focused Care to provide comprehensive treatment for fire, police, EMT’s, and other first responders.

In 2018, Jennifer and Brian Halley felt called to serve local first responders by using their unique skills and experiences. The mental health problems that first responders encounter as a result of their heroic, yet traumatic experiences are astounding. According to the 3FTL website, “Currently the First Responder suicide rate has surpassed their line of duty deaths.” Brian and Jennifer were motivated to action because of the struggles they saw facing local heroes, and 3 ForTheLove was born. Now, 3FTL’s Board of Directors is made up of Jennifer and Brian Halley, Dr. Marcy Henson, DNP APRN FNP-C, Derek Martin, a systems developer and integrator for Microsoft, and Shawn Brightman, captain for the Frisco Fire Department and shift safety officer.

3FTL is spearheaded by Jennifer Halley, who serves as owner, president, and treatment coordinator. Jennifer currently holds a B.S. and M.S. degree, and she just completed her second master’s degree in Psychology with a focus on trauma. Her experience with her own mental health and her marriage to Brian, who has been a firefighter and paramedic for over 19 years, have provided her with the knowledge and skills to assist first responders through their mental health journeys.

Jennifer’s partner in therapy, Jester, is a favorite around the office. Jester is a one-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever who assists Jennifer with loving and comforting first responders during their treatment. He was donated to 3FTL by Patriot Paws, an organization that trains service dogs to sense and soothe anxiety. When patients have to talk through difficult traumas, Jester is right there to lay his head in their lap and bring them comfort. Jester has learned to pray for his patients before each visit by bowing his head and holding hands with Jennifer, and there is always a treat waiting for him after he says amen.

The 3FTL program involves extensive counseling with Jennifer and two trauma counselors, careful management of medications by Dr. Marcy Henson, DNP APRN FNP-C, and peer support groups led by Brian and Shawn. The program is intensive and involves EMDR therapy, a form of psychotherapy specifically designed to alleviate the anxiety surrounding traumatic events in PTSD patients. The program also includes counseling and peer groups for the spouses of the participants, who help provide the necessary support and encouragement to participants even when they are not in the office. Each participant has his or her own customized treatment plan, and the team works hard to ensure everyone receives the support they need.

If you would like to support 3 ForTheLove, you can donate through their website to assist first responders with the financial portion of their recovery. You can also volunteer to work with Patriot Paws to help train dogs like Jester to help patients through their recovery. Sometimes, the greatest support you can offer is a smile or a simple “thank you.” Next time you encounter a first responder, make sure you thank them for their commitment to keeping us safe.

Serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area


Phone: 469-400-8357

Article Written By Ashley Henson

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