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City of Irving Receives National Recognition for Its Efforts in Addressing Mental Health for First Responders

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund announced the City of Irving’s Public Safety Wellness Unit (PSWU) as the winner of the 2023 National Officer Safety and Wellness Award in the category of Comprehensive Wellness. The prestigious award, sponsored by Destination Zero National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards, highlights best-practices and agency-level achievements in the areas of officer safety and wellness. The PSWU will accept the award in September during the organization’s annual ceremony in Washington, D.C.

“First responders are routinely called to emergencies to rescue people, and they often witness horrific events,” said Irving City Manager Chris Hillman. “These experiences can lead to mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and in the worst cases, suicide. Our goal as an organization is to ensure the safety and quality of life for our first responders, and the Public Safety Wellness Unit was developed to assist team members during times of need.”


In 2021, the City of Irving established the PSWU to support Irving Police Officers and Firefighters with mental health services. The program provides early intervention and stabilization shortly after a critical incident occurs to reduce stress-related symptoms. The PSWU oversees peer support programs, provides 24/7 crisis intervention, critical incident debriefings, training, crisis counseling, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Yoga for First Responders (YFFR), biofeedback and neurofeedback, case management, consultations and training.


The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund launched the initiative called Destination Zero in 2014 with the goal of identifying agencies with unique and innovative programs aimed at reducing risk factors for line-of-duty deaths. Their mission is to honor the fallen, tell the story of American law enforcement and make it safer for those who serve. Each year, five are presented in the categories of: General Officer Safety, Officer Traffic Safety, Officer Wellness, Comprehensive Wellness and Comprehensive Safety.

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