FIRST RESPONDERS SUPPORT FUND

TRICIA JOHNSON

Executive Director

My husband and I had been married about one year when he told me he felt deeply called to become a police officer. He has a keen sense of justice and a protective nature. It was everything good in my husband that drew him toward this self-sacrificial profession. In the very beginning, my instinctual fear was for his physical safety. He truly did lay his life on the line each and every day he went to work. It didn’t take long, however, to realize that the more real concern was for his mental health. This is the reality we rarely talk about. 

In his over 22 years of service my husband has seen more than the human psyche should be able to handle. Some things took him a year to talk to me about, some things he still can’t. How does one cope with having witnessed a man take his own life after hours of trying to talk him out of it? How does a person with small children conduct the investigation needed to bring a child molester to justice? 

 

How does one spend 12 hours per day in a hyper-vigilant state basing decisions on what could possibly happen, not what will probably happen, without carrying that perspective into off-duty life? I have had 22 years of loving my husband through the challenges he faces on the job and the havoc they wreak on the inside. I’ve also had 22 years of facing the struggles this service has brought to my own marriage. It is no mystery to me why the divorce rate among law enforcement officers is so high.

There are many times in our years of marriage that my husband and I would have benefited from counseling, but there was always an obstacle that got in the way. Usually the obstacle was finances. We were barely paying bills in the years I was home raising the kids and counseling wasn’t high enough on the priority list.

With this background, when I started working at Anew Day I wondered how we could minister to the first responders in our community. How could Anew Day help people overcome the obstacles that kept my husband and me from getting the help we needed? 


As I prayed about this, the Lord brought us an Associate with a passion for understanding and serving first responders. Anna, whose brother is in law enforcement, is committed to helping these public servants. With Anna on staff, the Anew Day Board discussed how great it would be if we could offer counseling and therapy services to first responders in our community completely free of charge.

With this hope, Anew Day has created the First Responders Support Fund. The ultimate goal for this fund is to be able to pay 100% of the counseling/therapy costs for any currently serving first responder who calls us for help. If you appreciate our first responders, please consider giving to this Support Fund already being used. 

Not wanting to pull away from our other needed services we ask that your gift be over and above any normal donations you make to Anew Day. Thank you!