Minnesota-made app helping first responders nationwide

An ambulance
University of Minnesota researchers say their app to help first responders manage stress has now been downloaded in all 50 states.
iStockphoto 2016

University of Minnesota researchers say their app to help first responders manage stress has now been downloaded in all 50 states.

The First Responder Toolkit allows users to take surveys so they can monitor job-related stress, or compassion fatigue, and then offers tips, resources and feedback — including that it might be time to take a break. About 30 percent of first responders experience depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, compared with 20 percent of the general population. They’re also at higher risk of dying by suicide, according to federal estimates.

Tai Mendenhall, an associate professor who helped develop the app, said the ultimate goal of the app is to allow health and emergency response professionals take care of themselves so they can continue to take care of others.

Mendenhall spoke with MPR News host Tom Crann. Hear their conversation using the audio player above.

This reporting is part of Call To Mind, our MPR initiative to foster new conversations about mental health.

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