Wow! is possibly the reaction you had when you first noticed the IAFC-VCOS’s 2021 Yellow Ribbon
Report Update on behavioral wellness.
That’s understandable; the document contains a lot of content. We know significantly more about
firefighter behavioral health today than we did in 2017 when the original report was published. This
update is not a book to be read cover to cover. It is a reference manual for your department to examine
Review the Table of Contents. Is there something that jumps off the page to you? If so, go to that section
because it interests you. Share the document with your departmental leadership including your peer
support team, chaplain and possibly your employee assistance program.
Share the duties of reviewing, discussing, prioritizing, developing, implementing and evaluating it
regularly for continued relevance. Successful implementation of an aggressive and comprehensive
behavioral wellness plan will take the TEAM you have around you.
Behavioral wellness requires you to break it down, split it up and massage it into something
that works for your department. As you know from experience, getting started is the first step.
Set little goals. Use the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting method. Your team wants your leadership. This
issue demands bold, committed, and innovative solutions. Be specific with what you want to
accomplish. The issue of behavioral wellness is about the quality of life for your firefighters and
Motivational coach Zig Ziglar reminds us that
“a goal properly set is halfway reached.” Setting
a goal is just like eating an elephant. Bit by bit,
bite by bite, you make possible what at first
seemed impossible. You get a small step closer
to living your best life. You’ve got what it takes;
now get SMART and turn those dreams into
Click on the link below to access this report