Behavioral Health for Firefighters & Paramedics with the Rosecrance Florian Program



The new Rosecrance Florian Program offers the best opportunity for lasting recovery by incorporating occupational factors into the treatment process. The program is housed in a designated, eight-bed coed unit at the Rosecrance Harrison Campus, a modern 97-bed adult facility in Rockford, Illinois, that offers a full continuum of inpatient and outpatient services.

Florian, named for the patron saint of firefighters, is the first program in the country dedicated to and specializing in serving firefighters, paramedics and other fire service members who need substance abuse treatment but who also need care for job-related post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and other behavioral health issues.

A 12-member committee comprised of experienced firefighters and fire personnel from across the nation is helping to advise the Florian Program. Rosecrance started treating clients in the fall.

The Florian Program also will work to train fire personnel across the country to recognize and act on the signs and symptoms of substance abuse and behavioral health issues. Many fire departments, both full-time and volunteer, don’t have the resources for this type of training.

Community Foundation, Rosecrance partner to educate public on Mental Health First Aid

ROCKFORD – Two Rosecrance staff members are among the first people in northern Illinois to be trained as instructors for a groundbreaking national initiative called Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) USA. The program is designed to educate the public about how to identify, understand and appropriately respond to people in crisis for mental health and substance use disorders.

Interest in MHFA USA is growing in response to President Barack Obama’s call to fight gun violence by devoting more resources to training teachers, police officers, clergy and other community members to recognize signs of mental health disorders and respond appropriately.

Through a $10,000 grant from the Dr. Louis and Violet Rubin Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, Anne Fridh and Sarra Reichwald of Rosecrance have trained to become MHFA instructors. In turn, they will train local law enforcement officers and other first responders in important techniques that can de-escalate crises, connect people with appropriate care and save lives.

Three trainings for Rockford Police Department officers are set for November. More trainings will be scheduled soon for teachers and school personnel, as well as for firefighters.

“Research shows that the sooner people get help for mental health and substance use issues, the more likely they are to experience a positive outcome,” Fridh said. “This training is crucial for anyone who spends time with young people.”

Fridh, MS, Psy.D, is Director of Quality Management and Performance Improvement for Rosecrance. She is the first person in Rockford to receive certification as a Youth MHFA instructor. Fridh attended training this summer in Joplin, MO.

Reichwald, MS.Ed, Staff Educator at Rosecrance, attended training in Milwaukee in August for certification as an Adult MHFA instructor.

The training has been used across the nation for a variety of audiences and key professions, including primary care professionals, business leaders and employers, educators, corrections officers, nursing home staff, mental health authorizes and the general public.

Those who take the course learn a 5-step action plan to respond to individuals who are in a mental health crisis until they can be linked with appropriate help, possibly professional care.

That response plan is summed up by the mnemonic device ALGEE:

Assess for risk of suicide or harm.
Listen nonjudgmentally.
Give reassurance and information.
Encourage appropriate professional help.
Encourage self-help and other support strategies.

MHFA is an evidence-based training program that began in Australia and first was piloted in the United States in 2008. MHFA is a being managed in this country by the Washington D.C-based National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

WREX reports on TMS treatment for Rockford man's depression

Here’s a report WREX-13 aired Brian Smith, a Rockford resident whose depression was treated with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a treatment offered by Rosecrance affiliate Aspen Counseling & Consulting: – Rockford’s News Leader

Click here to see the story on the WREX website.

Register Star reports on TMS therapy to fight depression

In the Saturday edition of the Rockford Register Star, reporter Melissa Westphal wrote about Rockford resident Brian Smith and how he treated his depression with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy through the Rosecrance-affiliated Aspen Counseling & Consulting.

“It has helped me so much,” said Smith, now 58, this week at Rosecrance. “Last year, before the treatments, I didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted to sit at home, be by myself. I didn’t want to associate with friends or family.

“Now, after the TMS, I enjoy things a lot more. I enjoy being with people. I’m more talkative. I get in on conversations more, where before I would sit back and just let people talk around me, basically. It has been a wonderful experience in my life so far. I feel better now than I have in a long, long time.”

Read the story at the Register Star site here. (A subscription to the Register Star may be required to access stories on the site.)

Substance abuse dangers increase during summer

Loose summer schedules mean kids will have less contact with parents and other adults who would notice signs and symptoms of drug use during the school year.

“It’s common for substance abuse to go unnoticed in the summer months,” said Mary Roufa, manager of community services and support for Rosecrance. “Schedules get turned around. Parents are at work while teens are sleeping in. Kids stay out late with friends, coming home late when parents are asleep. People are missing each other.”

In the spirit of summer, Rosecrance offers these tips for parents:

  • Establish a schedule for teens. It may include chores, a job, volunteer work, summer school, park district programs or other healthy activities.
  • Set boundaries and establish a curfew.
  • Insist on daily face time, even if that means staying up late until your children come home. Then talk with them.
  • Make expectations clear and assign responsibilities, then follow through with positive and negative consequences.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of substance abuse, including mood swings, changes in sleep patterns, loss of appetite, changes in friends, secret phone calls and shortages of money.
  • Seek help at the first sign of a problem, before substance abuse worsens.

For more information about adolescent substance abuse treatment at Rosecrance, or to get help, call 888.928.5278 or go to our contact page.

Wisconsin morning show reports on TMS Center of Madison

tmsWednesday’s edition of the WMTV morning show on station NBC-15 in Madison, Wis., included a segment focusing on the TMS Center of Madison and the concept of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.

Dr. Thomas Wright, Chief Medical Officer/Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs of Rosecrance, and Dr. Leslie Taylor of the TMS Center of Madison discussed the uses and benefits of TMS. You can see watch the segment by clicking this link, then scrolling down to the video labeled “Family First: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation AM Interview 7-10-13.” (The station’s site puts newer stories above previous ones, so you have to scroll down pretty far to find the TMS video.)

For more information about the TMS Center of Madison, visit the website at



Daily Herald drug testing story includes Rosecrance mention

The June 19 online edition of the Daily Herald included a story about the Naperville School District considering possible random drug testing for some students who participate in extracurricular activities.

The article included a mention of Rosecrance, which has an office in Naperville:

“School board members were briefed this week on research conducted by Bob Ross, assistant superintendent for secondary education. Ross said staff members met with Rosecrance Health Network, which provides drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and also discussed with lawyers the legality of random drug testing for students who participate in athletics or student activities and are governed by the co-curricular code.”

To read the whole story, click here.

To learn more about the Rosecrance Naperville Office, click here.

Register Star reports on success of Rosecrance triage center

In Sunday’s Rockford Register Star, reporter Melissa Westphal wrote about the success of the triage center at the Rosecrance Ware Center. The triage center opened in Oct. 2012 to help provide mental health services in the wake of the closing of Singer Mental Health Center:

ROCKFORD — People experiencing psychiatric crises are avoiding unnecessary  hospital stays by using a triage center that opened seven months ago in  Rockford, according to early data from Rosecrance Health Network.

Rosecrance officials had researched the idea of a triage center for more  than 10 years, but the need for such a service increased when the state closed  Singer Mental Health Center, an inpatient state hospital, in October.

So the agency renovated space at its downtown Ware Center, 526 W. State St.,  to house clinical recliner-style chairs, a kitchen and a waiting area where  clients can be assessed, stabilized and given a referral for follow-up  treatment.

The success of the center been impressive, Westphal reports:

Sixty-nine percent of those admitted were stabilized and sent home — a much higher percentage than Rosecrance officials expected.

“That’s appropriately going home with a plan — typically an appointment with a case worker or a psychiatrist,” CEO Phil Eaton said. “That’s not just being stabilized and discharged, that’s very different. What happens with that is a revolving door where you haven’t addressed the issue.”

Read the whole story here.

Mental health article includes input from Rosecrance

An article that ran in the Northwest Herald this week, “Mental health success starts with early intervention” included a focus on Rosecrance McHenry County and featured comments from its director, Chris Gleason, about the importance of early intervention in identifying mental health issues:

Chris Gleason, director of Rosecrance McHenry County

Chris Gleason, director of Rosecrance McHenry County

“It is easier to work with the family to help monitor or change expectations,”
Director Chris Gleason said. “It’s hard to reason with a young child, and
parents need to realize every situation is different.”

Read the entire article here.

Hear Rosecrance's Dr. Wright talk about addiction on WGN radio

Dr. Thomas WrightLast week, Dr. Thomas Wright, Rosecrance Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs, appeared on Chicago’s “WGN Sports Night” to talk about addiction, student athletes, peer pressure and what parents can do to prevent substance abuse problems in their family.

Joining Dr. Wright was Marc Anderson, a certified Mental Game Coach who works with individual athletes, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement.

Click on this link to go to WGN’s page, then click on the dark triangle under the introductory paragraph to hear the broadcast.