Branson PD Peer Support Team Presents at Statewide Conference | Local News

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A peer support team initiated by the Branson Police Department will lead a breakout session at a statewide crisis intervention conference.

The Regional Peer Support Team was launched in 2021 with a funding grant from the Skaggs Foundation. The team is focused on assisting first responders in Stone and Taney Counties with personal issues and struggles related to traumatic events to which they respond during their time on duty.

“In its first year, the team did an amazing job getting the project off the ground, which included a 3-day training seminar for 30 local first responders,” said Mindy Honey, Director of Community Relations for the Skaggs Foundation. , in a press release. “In just a few months, they are already having a huge impact. In the first year, the Peer Support Team was activated 17 times for individual and group crisis response, providing services to at least 46 first responders.

The team has had such an impact in the region that they have been selected to facilitate a breakout session at the 2022 Missouri Crisis Response Training Conference, March 7-8. The team will share what they learned from building the team, which had to work with multiple agencies in two counties.

Team leaders hope the “peer support team model” will bring about positive changes statewide when it comes to providing first responders with effective mental health tools.

“It’s not a common model that’s being used, so by presenting at the conference, we can hope to encourage positive change statewide when it comes to mental health and first responders,” said the chief of Branson police Jeff Matthews in a statement.

The Skaggs Foundation recently awarded the program a second year of funding.

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