April Logotech-4-Good Recipient Announced
Code 1 Wellness provides aid to first responders.
On police radios, a “Code 1” is a call for an emergency situation in need of immediate response.
Code 1 Wellness chose its name because rendering aid to first responders experiencing trauma is often an emergency situation, said Peter Strauch. He is the treasurer and chief operations officer for the Kansas City, Missouri, based organization.
Selected as our April 2021 Logotech-4-Good recipient, Code 1 Wellness will receive up to $500 in branded promotional products to help publicize its work. They provide counseling, nutrition, chaplain, and whole body wellness services to law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, medical professionals and tow truck operators.
Founded in 2018 by active law enforcement officer Vanessa Kennedy, the non-profit has served more than 872 first responders as of January 1, 2021, Peter Strauch said. Much of that has been in Kansas City and the surrounding suburbs and rural communities.
Andrea Strauch is the organization’s director of therapy. Currently, there are two mental health clinicians on staff, with four more in the on-boarding process. Additional staff includes a dietitian, a life coach and a wellness trainer.
Since the covid pandemic began and with fewer restrictions on tele-health, Code 1 has been able to provide expanded over-the-phone or video counseling services. They are also seeking further national certifications to expand across the country, Andrea Strauch said.
At the same time, she also plans to keep the counseling staff’s case loads small. “Because of the nature of what they will hear and experience, I don’t want (clinicians) to have vicarious trauma or negative effects,” from the counseling, Andrea Strauch said.
What her staff will hear second-hand is what emergency responders deal with every day.
“They go to a call, and it is a hard call. Then they go to the next call. They don’t have the time to process what they have experienced. The mentality is ‘it is part of the job, and you are weak if you ask for help’,” Andrea Strauch said.
It is that stigma they are working against.
“It takes more strength to ask for help than to stuff things in a box and keep duct taping it shut,” she said.
Their goal is not only to help first responders deal with trauma, but also prevent suicide. In 2019, there were 228 reported police officer suicides across the country. Another 48 firefighter deaths were reported as suicide.
Overcoming the profession’s stigmatization of mental health crises is a challenge. Because Code 1 offers tele-health and not an office they must walk into, clients often feel more comfortable and able to talk, Andrea Strauch said.
The comfortable setting has led to their word-of-mouth growth. Police officers, veterans and firefighters are telling their friends and contacts about the services Code 1 provides, Peter Strauch said.
Promotional products branded with their logo and contact information can help expand that growth. Their clients and supporters can pass on a pen, a notebook or a USB flash drive printed with their contact information. “They will know if they need someone to talk to, they can call Code 1,” he said.
Find more information about their work at the Code 1 Wellness website.
Apply for the Logotech-4-Good program on our website.