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Welcome to Survive First.

A foundation for first responders... America's heroes.

Toll free: 844-577-7233

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OUR MISSION

Survive First is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, whose mission is to assist first responders and families who need mental health support from the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and substance abuse.

Through education and appropriate treatment planning and placement,we walk with our brothers and sisters on the road to wellness and recovery.

Our vision is to reduce first responder suicide and save lives by ensuring that first responders receive the mental health support they need in order to live healthy and happy lives.

A FIRST RESPONDER'S LIFE CANNOT BE COMPROMISED

We are a resource for first responders and their families to speak confidentially with former law enforcement officers, fire fighters, first responder professionals, and/or mental health care providers who are familiar with your line of work.  All communications are confidential, with comprehensive assistance and planning for mental health support for first responders and their families, as well as all emergency services personnel and their families.  No first responder is alone.  There is help.  We are here.

Doug Monda, Founder of Survive First, knows all too well the impact that a career as a first responder can have on mental health. Seventeen years on the job almost cost him his life. Doug is a survivor of attempted suicide. This is his story.

Doug and his wife Karen founded Survive First to help first responders and their families navigate the mental health challenges that can occur with a career as a first responder.  Their message is that no first responder is alone and that all first responders and their families can live happy and healthy lives.

#livehappy

Total Number of Recorded Police Suicides in 2017
Source: Blue H.E.L.P
Total Number of Recorded Firefighter Suicides in 2017
Source: Ruderman Family Foundation
Approximate Percentage of First Responders Who Have Experienced Symptoms of Mental Health Issues
%
Source: University of Phoenix
Survey: Percentage of More Than 4000 First Responders Who Had Attempted Suicide
%
Source: Journal of Emergency Medical Services, 2015
Symptoms

Confidentiality of communications and records

RCW 43.101.425

All communications to crisis referral services by employees and volunteers of law enforcement, correctional, firefighting, and emergency services agencies, and all records related to the communications, shall be confidential. Crisis referral services include all public or private organizations that advise employees and volunteers of such agencies about sources of consultation and treatment for personal problems including mental health issues, chemical dependency, domestic violence, gambling, financial problems, and other personal crises.

A crisis referral service may reveal information related to crisis referral services to prevent reasonably certain death, substantial bodily harm, or commission of a crime.

 

Contact us. We are here to help.

TESTIMONIALS

 

"Doug embraced me like a long lost friend.  We shared stories and many tears, and through a lens of hope, with Doug's inspiration, I was able to see that recovery was possible." (2018)   -  Jared N., Police Officer / S.W.A.T.

 

"I was a police officer for 17 years.  In early November (2017), I tried to take my own life.  By the grace of God I had people in my life, like Survive First, who came to my rescue and got me to a treatment facility, at Deer Hollow in Utah, and helped me get back to who I used to be.  I can't be more grateful.  You guys truly saved my life."  -  Jenn B., Former Police Officer

BLOG

Get Outside and Just Go!

By Karen Monda | October 21, 2018

Life can be busy.  Life can be challenging.  We all seem to know this too well.  Go to work.  Do the laundry.  Clean the house.  Help with homework.  Go to soccer practice.  Cook dinner.  Do the dishes.  Finally take a shower and undwind…at 9:00.  Does this sound familiar?  Do we ever really unwind?  For many…

Run For Responders 5k

By Karen Monda | September 3, 2018

Cocoa Beach comes alive Saturday evening with the Game On Run for Responders 5k Run/Walk benefiting Survive First https://survivefirst.us/and honoring those who are or have served our communities. Cocoa Beach and the surrounding area law enforcement and fire fighters will light up the route. Please come out and show your support by racing the streets of…

MFC Florida’s Brevard Chapter 6th Annual “Never Forget”Fun Run

By Karen Monda | August 10, 2018

Survive First is honored to be the beneficiary of MFC Florida’s Brevard Chapter 6th Annual “Never Forget” Fun Run, honoring first responders.  This event promises to be a fun morning out for all, with great entertainment, good food, raffles, autctions, and more.  All to benefit our first responders who put their lives on the line…

North Carolina First Responder Support Group

By Karen Monda | June 25, 2018

Survive First is excited to announce a new support group in North Carolina.  We welcome any and all First Responders and their families to attend.  It was created to be a confidential and supportive resource for first responders dealing with personal, traumatic, and/or cumulative stress resulting from the unique stressors and responsibilities of emergency services personnel.…

Just a Setback

By Karen Monda | May 19, 2018

By Douglas Monda, Founder and President of Survive First I’ve never written a blog post before.  This is a first for me, but the thought of writing this hit me at one of my most favorite times of the day; the time of day that helped turn my life around…Cigar time. Lately, I’ve been reliving…

From Assistant Chief of Police to “Yogi” – by Christopher O. Davis

By Karen Monda | April 20, 2018

If someone had told me 3 years ago that I would be a certified yoga instructor and a Yoga for First Responders Ambassador, I would have told them they were crazy! Like most Type-A first responders, I had to experience it (yoga) for myself. Several years ago, I was going through a difficult time professionally…

An Ounce of Prevention

By Karen Monda | March 24, 2018

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – Benjamin Franklin. Recently, we visited law enforcement recruits at the Police Academy in Palm Bay, Florida, where Doug Monda, founder of Survive First Foundation, told his own personal experience with depression, PTSD, and attempted suicide. He spoke of the lifestyle and mood changes he…

Sensory Integration at Lakeside

By Karen Monda | March 9, 2018 | 1 Comment

The limbic system is a complex system of nerves and networks in the brain, involving several areas near the edge of the cortex concerned with instinct and mood. It controls the basic emotions (fear, pleasure, anger). Human emotion and the senses are significantly impacted by trauma and PTSD.  Furthermore, self-regulation becomes impacted, making it increasingly…

Survive First was with Indian Harbor Beach Police Department

By Karen Monda | March 2, 2018

Survive First was with Indian Harbor Beach Police Department on Tuesday and today, speaking about mental health and the challenges faced by first responders every day. It’s been a great week educating our brothers and sisters on mental health awareness!

UPCOMING EVENTS

Run For Responders 5k

Cocoa Beach comes alive Saturday evening with the Game On Run for Responders 5k Run/Walk benefiting Survive First https://survivefirst.us/and honoring those who are or have served our communities. Cocoa Beach and the surrounding area law enforcement and fire fighters will light up the route. Please come out and show your support by racing the streets of…

MFC Florida’s Brevard Chapter 6th Annual “Never Forget”Fun Run

Survive First is honored to be the beneficiary of MFC Florida’s Brevard Chapter 6th Annual “Never Forget” Fun Run, honoring first responders.  This event promises to be a fun morning out for all, with great entertainment, good food, raffles, autctions, and more.  All to benefit our first responders who put their lives on the line…

North Carolina First Responder Support Group

Survive First is excited to announce a new support group in North Carolina.  We welcome any and all First Responders and their families to attend.  It was created to be a confidential and supportive resource for first responders dealing with personal, traumatic, and/or cumulative stress resulting from the unique stressors and responsibilities of emergency services personnel.…

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PARTNERS

Survive First believes in Deer Hollow’s First Responder Trauma Program.  They are on the cutting edge of treatment, as everything being done has a very clinically specific intent to assist the responders deepest healing. Their clinical team comes highly trained in trauma processing, and treatment outcomes are extremely successful.  Call us for more information.

Survive First is proud to partner with Stepstone Connect.  Their online counseling program, specially designed for first responders is confidential and evidence based.  They provide  trauma specific one-on-one therapy, group, and family therapy that is confidential and evidence based.  Call us for more information.

Survive First is proud to partner with and support Rescue the Rescuer, hosted by Stephen Davalkovich, former paramedic and 9/11 rescue worker.  Rescue the Rescuer is the first podcast for first responders who battle mental health issues such as PTSD, substance abuse, and more.  The show is available on ITunes, Stitcher, Iheart Radio,  Amazon Alexa devices, and the Mental Health News Radio Network.