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A foundation for first responders


(321) 266-7984

Business Office: (321) 785-3065



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.


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.


Total Number of Verified Police Suicides in 2019
Source: Blue H.E.L.P.
Total Number of Recorded Firefighter Suicides in 2017
Source: Ruderman Family Foundation
Percentage of First Responders Reporting Mental Health Symptoms
Source: University of Phoenix
2019 5k medals
conference table
cocoa motor

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.

Survive First

P.O. Box 320112

Cocoa Beach, FL 32932



"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

"Karen Monda - lovely as a rose, tough as nails, marathoner, exceptional human being. The home front of Survive First. Blessed to have Karen Monda and Douglas Monda with us." - Jackie Garcia, Retired Veteran/LEO Wife and Co-Founder of Global Walk


Local Brewery to Debut “Everyone’s Hero” Craft Beer to Benefit Survive First on June 28, 2019

By Karen Monda | June 4, 2019

Dirty Oar Beer Company is a local brewery out of Cocoa, FL who loves and supports their first responders. Owner Paul Hill opened the Dirty Oar in Cocoa Village, in 2017 and has been serving up his own hand crafted brews since. Since opening, the Dirty Oar has been a friend and supporter of the…

Join us at the Represent 321 5k/10k Community Run/Walk!

By Karen Monda | June 4, 2019

Survive First is honored to have been selected to be one of the beneficiaries of IAP’s “Represent (321) 5K/10K Community Run/Walk (It’s a Family Affair)”, to be held on Saturday, November 9th, in Satellite Beach, FL! We are so grateful to be part of this and hope you will join us at this awesome event,…

Honor Walk 2019

By Karen Monda | March 17, 2019

This morning, Doug Monda, founder of Survive First, caught the first flight out to San Francisco, California, where he will meet up with Danny Garcia to begin the first leg of Honor Walk 2019 on Monday, March 18. Kicking off at the Handlery at Union Square, Doug and Danny will walk roughly 25 a day, meeting with verterans and first responder to spread their message.

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…

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 | 8 Comments

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!

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Survive First is proud to partner with Biosound Technologies to help bring awareness to the growing mental health concerns and suicide prevention to first responders; and to break the stigma of PTSD, depression and addiction, within the tight-knit community of first responders.

“All of us at Biosound Technologies are passionate about supporting those who protect us. We understand the consequences that stress and trauma can have on first responders if left untreated.  Biosound is committed to developing solutions to help them better manage and cope with on-the-job stress. We have developed solutions specifically designed to help reduce the effects of PTSD, stress, muscle tension and other issues that commonly impact first responders.

The Biosound Healing Therapy system is integrated with a biofeedback program to teach the art of self-regulation to help maintain focus and emotional balance. Low frequency vibrations trigger the body’s own natural relaxation response, and positive meditations embedded with binaural beats calm the mind.  We would like to thank all of the men and women who have made the commitment to serve and protect their communities – and let them know they’re not alone."