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Healing &


In the aftermath of tragedy and unspeakable loss, we know that as a first responder, it can be difficult and overwhelming trying to find adequate support while maintaining your privacy.


We are first responders too and many of us have walked the long and lonely road of recovery and healing after a tragic incident.  We know that you and your loved one's needs are unique.  We know that you are being bombarded with offers to help you through this time, and we know that you aren't sure whom you can trust.  We get it.  We are here for you for the long haul.

While our First Responder Assistance Center will be transitioning over to a First Responder Resiliency Center, we want to be able to offer you continued support and resources through this page.  Our hotline and our email will continue to operate during the transition, so we are just a phone call away.  

Image by Michael Förtsch

Need Help?

Whether you need to talk to someone about what you are experiencing, are looking for a referral to a first responder friendly clinician, or need resources on stress management, traumatic stress, grief, and loss, don't hesitate to reach out to us at any time.

Call us on our confidential support line at: 


You can also email us at

Crisis Text Line- If someone you know is struggling, they can text BADGE to 741-741 to reach our partners at Crisis Text Line. Their experienced and trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 for free.

What is Critical Incident Stress

You have experienced a traumatic event or a critical incident (any event that causes unusually strong emotional reactions that have the potential to interfere with the ability to function normally). Even though the event may be over, you may now be experiencing or may experience later, some strong emotional or physical reactions. It is very common, in fact quite normal, for people to experience emotional aftershocks when they have passed through a horrific

Sometimes the emotional aftershocks (or stress reactions) appear immediately after the traumatic even. Or they may appear a few hours or a few days later. And, in some cases, weeks or months may pass before the stress reactions appear.

The signs of symptoms of a stress reaction may last a few days, a few weeks, a few months, or longer, depending on the severity of the traumatic event. The understanding and the support of loved ones usually cause the stress reactions to pass more quickly. Occasionally, the traumatic event is so painful that professional assistance may be necessary. This does not imply mental
instability or weakness. It simply indicates that the particular event was just too powerful for the person to manage by himself.

Image by SVP Studios

Signs & Symptoms of
a Stress Reaction

Cognitive Symptoms:

  • Memory problems

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Poor judgment

  • Seeing only the negative

  • Anxious or racing thoughts

  • Constant worrying

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Depression or general unhappiness

  • Anxiety and agitation

  • Moodiness, irritability, or anger

  • Feeling overwhelmed

  • Loneliness and isolation

  • Other mental or emotional health problems


Physical Symptoms:

  • Aches and pains

  • Diarrhea or constipation

  • Nausea, dizziness

  • Chest pain, rapid heart rate

  • Loss of sex drive

  • Frequent colds or flu

Behavioral Symptoms:

  • Eating more or less

  • Sleeping too much or too little

  • Withdrawing from others

  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities

  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax

  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)


Uvalde First Responder Resiliency Center

Services Provided by the Ecumenical Center
Located in the First United Methodist  Church
301 N High St, Uvalde, TX 78801

Tuesdays and Thursdays

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

What to Do

Your reactions may be powerful and unusual, especially in the week after the incident. In the hours immediately following the incident, you will not be able to do anything but will experience acute reactions that are part of your body's survival mechanisms. You should seek comfort and support.

Try as much as possible not to isolate yourself. Spend time with people you trust. You do not have to share your experience if you do not wish. You will share them when it is the right time for you.

You should take as much rest as possible and be gentle with yourself. Give yourself the time to recover. Do not try to force the recovery process.

Get back to your normal routine, because this will help you to structure your day, to contextualize the incident, and minimize anxiety.

It is strongly recommended that you practice stress reduction and relaxation techniques (deep breathing exercises, progressive relaxation, meditation), do physical activities, play music or read.

The Importance of Support
For individuals who have survived traumatic incidents, the care and support of managers and colleagues can make a very great difference.

How long will symptoms last? When should I seek help?
Symptoms will be evident immediately after a critical event. They will diminish within days or weeks. Most people do not require 'psychological treatment. They work through their reactions by following their usual routines, supported by family and friends.

If symptoms persist for more than a month, it may indicate a stress reaction that could lead to a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In such cases, it is important to consult a staff welfare officer or a mental health professional.

You Should Seek Help If:

  • You feel that you cannot handle your intense feelings or physical sensations.

  • The effects which followed the incident are getting worse, not better.

  • You continue to experience distressing thoughts or physical or emotional symptoms.

  • You continue to have nightmares or your sleep continues to be affected.

  • You are using increased amounts of alcohol or drugs.

  • Your responses are hurting your relationships with other people.

A Coordinated Response for First Responders

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