This page is a good starting point in learning about FRAT. For complete information, visit the program's website: http://www.responderaddiction.com/
"Sometimes the helpers need help themselves - when they do, we turn to FRAT."
– John McGrody, Vice President,
Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police,
Those who "go in first" take on some of the most stressful situations and experiences in modern life, just so everyone else doesn't have to. Add the "macho culture" of these professions, and the mix can create plenty of tension. This can lead to a search for ways to relax, calm, make sense of, or just wipe out the intense stress, sadness and isolation.
The First Responders Addiction Treatment Program reaches out to police, firefighters, emergency personnel and combat veterans. The FRAT team knows alcoholism or other dependencies complicate the stress and physical and emotional trauma of dealing with life-threatening situations. Addiction can also lead to suicide as an "option." (Police officers are found to be twice as likely as the general population to take this desperate course.)
The managers of FRAT have seen everything that can be witnessed by a responder, and aren't reticent about speaking from personal experience. These are men to be trusted. They've always been "the ones who take the calls." Now, to assist officers seeking help, they're still in that role.
Andy Callaghan, currently a Philadelphia police officer with more than two decades' experience, is the FRAT program coordinator. He serves as liaison between law enforcement personnel and our clinical staff.
With an active-duty officer at the helm, FRAT helps responders get back on their feet, and return to family and community as a respected professional.
Livengrin is the natural home for FRAT. One of its clinical managers had twenty years' experience as an urban street cop before becoming a counselor. Those coming to FRAT for help will encounter other veterans of law enforcement, firefighting and other fields who are now counselors or advocates and know both the "walk" and the "talk."
Individuals and departments across the country are seeing that the best way to help those in trouble is to let them know they aren't alone. That there are ways to repair the damage through professional treatment and follow-up services. That someone will listen, who can open a door to physical and psychological well-being.
Intervention services are available at no cost for individual first responders and their families, local police and fire departments, responder unions, regional and national support groups, and partners and supervisors in the responder community.
FRAT subscribes to the principle of complete confidentiality and privacy for those in treatment. This continues after they've returned to the job and family.
Showing up for the job after "being out on leave" isn't easy. Getting back to work may raise some questions. FRAT offers guidance and, when appropriate, works with supervisors and departments when the returning officer or employee has completed the initial treatment, and is preparing to be a reliable member of the team again.
The FRAT staff doesn't just ask an employer to take its word that an individual is better and ready to come back. It works with the police/fire department, union or business HR office to ensure that all of its requirements are met.
There are also services for those who travel a distance for treatment at Livengrin, with outreach to his or her hometown or region to make sure of a helping hand there in the form of a sponsor, twelve-step groups and other resources. This maintains that new connection between the officer (no matter where they live and work) and the life-long process that is recovery.
For services, transportation & quick response: 855-372-8435 · firstname.lastname@example.org