Introducing the Behavioral Health Program

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Introducing the Behavioral Health Program

What is the Behavioral Health Program?

We are pleased to announce the addition of the Behavioral Health Program to the Colorado Firefighter Benefits Trust. Beginning immediately, we have automatically extended coverage for all Colorado firefighters to receive reimbursement for behavioral and mental health treatment that is not already covered by any other employer offered programs. Coverage has been extended to cover spouses and children of firefighters for family and marriage counseling. This extension of coverage is defined under SB 22-002, which was signed into law in 2022, and is available as long as funding lasts from the state. Our website will be kept with up-to-date information on remaining funds.

Whether your department already has an existing EAP or behavioral health plan in place and need supplemental coverage, or if you have no pre-existing treatment plan, we are now accepting claims to support your department and staff. There is no cost to participate as long as the limited funding lasts. As a fire service operation, you are enrolled automatically, per SB 22-002, to start using these benefits today.

What Do We Reimburse?

We are reimbursing deductibles, co-pays, and out-of-pocket behavioral health expenses not covered by existing fire operations’ benefit programs. We will also reimburse for additional treatments and therapies, even after your current program benefits run out. If you do not currently have a behavioral health provider, we have provided a list of providers that specialize in First Responders and trauma support below.

Services must be paid by the participant up-front, with requests for the reimbursement filed as a claim. Full details on how to file a claim, and recommended providers, are found on our website at cfhtrust.com/behavioral/.

Commonly Reimbursed Services

There are an extensive number of behavioral and mental health support and treatment options, with more being developed each year as research develops. These are some of the most common, and most effective treatment types that are available for firefighters and first responders. These are also services that the Behavioral health Program commonly provide reimbursement for.

  • Talk Therapy: This is a form of psychotherapy that involves talking to a mental health professional to address emotional, psychological, and mental health issues. This type of therapy can help firefighters and first responders process traumatic events they may have experienced on the job and develop coping mechanisms.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This type of therapy is designed to help people identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to mental health issues. CBT can be effective in treating anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in firefighters and first responders.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): This type of therapy is a form of talk therapy that involves eye movements to help people process and heal from traumatic experiences. It has been shown to be effective in treating PTSD in first responders.
  • Group Therapy: This type of therapy involves talking to a mental health professional and other individuals facing similar issues. Group therapy can provide support, validation, and practical coping strategies for firefighters and first responders dealing with mental health challenges.
  • Peer Support Programs: This type of support program involves pairing up first responders and firefighters with peers who have undergone similar experiences. This type of program can be beneficial in creating a supportive community and promoting healing.
  • Resiliency Training: This type of training program focuses on building resilience and emotional well-being in firefighters and first responders. It can teach individuals skills for managing stress, handling traumatic experiences, and developing a support network.

It’s important to note that mental health treatment is not one-size-fits-all and that the best approach may vary from person to person. It’s important for firefighters and first responders to work with mental health professionals to determine the most effective treatment plan for their individual needs.

It is true that firefighters and first responders are at a higher risk of developing mental health issues due to the nature of their work. However, there are many effective mental health treatment options available, including talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, group therapy, peer support programs, and resiliency training. These options can help individuals improve their mental health and well-being and continue to serve their communities.

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