W.Va. city starts mental health program for first responders

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — The city of Huntington, West Virginia, has launched a new program to provide mental health and wellness resources to first responders.

The Herald-Dispatch reports the program called Compass was announced Wednesday. Mayor Steve Williams says it was inspired by the incomprehensible stress that first responders suffer while fighting the opioid epidemic.

Compass is being funded with $1 million the city won in October through the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ U.S. Mayors Challenge, which encourages city leaders to propose bold ideas to each city’s toughest challenge.

The program aims to combat “compassion fatigue” and improve mental health and includes training, classes and a wellness center. Early designs for the center featured meditation and yoga studios, a nutrition center and more. It’s expected to be housed on the police department building’s fifth floor.

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Information from: The Herald-Dispatch, http://www.herald-dispatch.com

Associated Press

Associated Press

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