Mental Health Treatment for First Responders

First Responders’ Mental Health

First responders face an increased risk for mental health conditions. And it’s understandable, due to the nature and frequency of their exposure to trauma. First responders routinely face life-threatening situations and stressful events.

First responders include firefighters, emergency medical services (EMS) staff, law enforcement officers, and others who are designated and trained to respond to disasters or other crises.

Common Mental Health Concerns For First Responders

First responders are at higher risk for stress, post traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse issues than most other professions, and may also be more likely to die by suicide.

Why many first responders don’t seek treatment

There are a number of reasons first responders are less likely than other professionals to acknowledge that their mental health is at risk:

  • Often regarded as heroes, they do not want to appear weak
  • First responder culture values strength and resilience
  • Time restraints, due to working long shifts (24-72 hours)
  • Fear repercussions in the workplace for seeking help
  • A heightened sense of personal responsibility
  • A strong survival mentality, often found among those in “helper” positions
  • Concerns about colleagues finding out

PTSD & First Responders

Approximately 1 in 3 first responders develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), compared to 1 in 5 people in the general population. Physical symptoms of PTSD include nightmares and flashbacks, chronic pain, headaches, dizziness, and chest pain. Those suffering from PTSD may also experience behavioral symptoms, including irritability, difficulty concentrating, angry outbursts, or feeling completely disconnected and numb.

Holistic PTSD Treatment at Barn Life Recovery

At Barn Life Recovery, our PTSD treatment program couples modern psychiatry with ancient spiritual practices. Our individually tailored, community-based day program provides a safe space to unpack and reprocess trauma. Participants have the opportunity to work individually with Internal Family Systems (IFS)-informed therapists and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) clinicians. Group therapy programs are also available.

Is Barn Life Right For You?

Let our kind and helpful admissions coordinators assist in finding the best option – even if it’s not with us.

Free Mental Health Services for First Responders

With insurance, mental health treatment at Barn Life Recovery is typically free, or available at a very low-cost. We accept most private insurance providers, including Tricare West, Anthem, Magellan, Cigna, Aetna, United Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Shield of CA, Blue Shield of TX, Blue Shield of Alaska, Blue Shield of NC, and more!

bamboo lined entrance to Barn Life Recovery

Free Community Support Groups

At Barn Life Recovery, we partner with many different organizations to host and provide a venue for free support groups promoting wellness and community connection. Our support groups include Recovery Dharma, NAMI Support Group, and more.


We are in-network with all PPO plans. We are proudly a certified Tricare provider. We are now able to work with Magellan Health/Blue Shield of CA HMO plans.

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Hear From Those We've Impacted

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Barn Life is uniquely special. As someone who has had long stretches of sobriety with "traditional" communities and methods, Barn Life stepped in when I started struggling during the pandemic and said "traditional" methods failed to help.The staff here are exceptional. This is a truly subjective statement, but it is my honest opinion that the people from the owner (Hi Matt!) to EVERYONE else works there because they believe in the work and want to share the tools they found.Barn Life and their little sibling, Peer Mental Wellness were the launchpad from a shell of an existence to person with self-love/respect, and a life-mission of personal development.

Steven D.
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Best for someone looking for spiritual healing in addition to their mental health healing.

Luka P.
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Barn life is probably one of the most amazing facilities you could ever attend when it comes to mental illness. This was the first place that popped up when I was searching for help and I’m so thankful that it did. The environment is very therapeutic, the staff is awesome, and the group discussions and activities were so helpful in me understanding what I was experiencing. Do not hesitate to be a part of this place. It’s literally a game changer. I was only there for 6 weeks but I wished I stayed at least 6 months. Ever since returning home, I’ve been much happier and my perspective has changed dramatically. I’ve done things and participated in events at my college that I never thought I would be able to do. This place is truly amazing and I’m forever grateful that I found this place.

Ariana E.
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Through trial and error of trying to stay sober this program is definitely the most caring and supporting of them all if anyone needs help and is willing to help themselves I suggest barnlife they will for a fact give you the push you need and the tools to keep you going

Mason T.
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My daughter has been at Barn Life Recovery now for two months. It was my last resort to send her 9 hours away from me. She has been in drug and mental health rehabs in and out for two years. This was my last stitch effort to save my daughter and get her back to herself. Alyssa and I spoke multiple times before deciding. Their willingness to do everything for her and the different teams they have work with them is amazing. My daughter is happy again and clean and sober. She loves it there in their outpatient program. They restore your faith in humanity. They help restore someone who is broken in so many places to themselves. They have put the light back in my daughters eyes. They are committed to helping each person who truly wants the help. They assist in helping them get jobs and be responsible members of society. I recommend their program to anyone wanting to recover from drug, alcohol and mental health.Thank you to all the people at Barn Life who have made my daughter smile and bring the light back to her eyes. I am truly grateful.DawnaLee

DawnaLee W.
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I am alumni from Zen Recovery Path / a great place , and live a happy healthy life ever since / great peaceful place to recover // Namaste

Michael M.



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