Fairfax County police and the Fairfax Fire and Rescue Department celebrated the opening of a wellness center Monday that will provide mental health services including counseling, therapy, and more for public safety personnel.
The Public Safety Wellness Center is the first of its kind in northern Virginia to provide therapy, counseling, and mental health services to police officers, firefighters, and other public officials. First responders face traumatic experiences daily on the job and the center will focus on their mental health, well-being, and physical health.
"Police officers and firefighters see things that are not normal, and they see things that are not normal at a rate much higher than the rest of the population," said Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis. "To be able to have a place where our officers can go and talk about their experiences, to make sure they are in the best place mentally, to be able to serve this community is the absolute way forward."
Police and firefighters can come to the center for help, with no questions asked and they can remain anonymous. The Public Safety Wellness Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and even offers after-hours and virtual services for first responders.
FOX 5 was told the center anticipates at least 5,000 clinical hours of help in the first year.