I Will Hold Space For Your Darkness
A First Responder Mental Health Podcast; Hosted by Erin Jane
Erin Nugent (Episode 1: Introduction)
Erin Jane is a former Police Officer and Detective from Australia, prior Crisis Counsellor for a suicide prevention organization and current CISM trained, Master Certified Life Coach for First Responders, Emergency Services Members, Partners and Spouses. She is also the wife of an American Firefighter, Captain of 20+ years and currently undertaking psychology and counseling studies to further her capacity to help the First Responder population.
Join her in the "Rorschach Room" every week for authentic, honest and real conversations about what it's like to perform a First Responder role and the mental health challenges that can be a result.
Podcast Guest; Episode 2
Beata - ED Nurse and Former Crisis Counsellor at Suicide Prevention Organization
In this episode, Erin speaks with Beata, a Registered Nurse currently working in the Emergency Department of a level one trauma hospital in Boston, MA.
They discuss Beata's start to her nursing career during Covid, what working in an ED is really like, dealing with challenging patients and her previous experience as a Crisis Counsellor at a Suicide Prevention Organization. (Where Erin and Beata actually met!)
**Be advised that the topic of suicide is discussed at length during this episode.**
Podcast Guest; Episode 3
Dave - Firefighter and Lieutenant from MA; 22+ years experience.
In this episode, Erin speaks with Dave, who has been a Firefighter/EMT in a suburban fire department north of Boston, MA for the last 22 years and currently holds the rank of Lieutenant. Erin and Dave discuss his career in the fire department, how mental health is tackled around the "firehouse coffee table" and what drove him to go through the process to become CISM trained and qualified.
Dave is honest, open and raw in sharing some of his own struggles with his mental health along his firefighting journey and how his perspective has changed over time, especially becoming a Lieutenant and being in a leadership role, in charge of troops. **They also discuss some of the losses they've both suffered as a result of suicide.**
Erin and Dave talk about how they met (at the CISM course), what they learned and the takeaways they both had from such an experience.
Podcast Guest; Episode 4
Elise - Detective Sergeant with Australian State Police Force, Trauma Informed Yoga Instructor, Domestic Violence Advocate
In this episode, Erin speaks with Elise, a Detective Sergeant from a State Police Force in Australia.
They discuss Elise's career and the different specialties she's explored, her passion for helping victims of domestic violence, her experience with burnout as a Detective, the mental health challenges faced by those who perform these First Responder roles, and why we were told we were getting "Tickets to the greatest show on earth!"
They also discuss what lead Elise down the path to become a qualified Yoga Instructor, the difference with being "trauma informed" and how making sure being a police officer isn't her entire identity is important to her.
Elise is thoughtful, honest and insightful when it comes to the mental health cost of being on the front lines of policing and the toll it can take.
Podcast Guest; Episode 5 & 6
Travis Gribble - 24 year career in Law Enforcement, SWAT Team Leader, My Arena Founder.
In these two episodes, Erin speaks with Travis Gribble, a former police officer with 24 years experience across both Michigan and Arizona. He held various positions throughout his law enforcement career, including SWAT member, SWAT Team Leader, Patrol Sergeant and Deputy.
Travis is now retired and founded My Arena; a First Responder Mental Health Education and Advocacy organisation. Whose mission is to help "first responders find peace, healing, and strength as they navigate the mental health challenges during their careers" and "educate agencies on how to appropriately handle critical incidents for the employees involved and provide critical response care when needed."
Travis and Erin discuss what drew him to enter law enforcement from the outset, his career trajectory across multiple states, his desire to enter SWAT and some of the mental health aspects he wish he'd known sooner.
Travis also talks about the call that irrevocably changed his career, how he coped, what he experienced in the aftermath and how things should be handled differently for First Responders attending such calls, moving forward.
Travis and Erin discuss his multiple attempts to find mental health assistance, the call that ended up being his "breaking point" and what help for someone like Travis, diagnosed with PTSD, truly looks like. He talks about his experience with EMDR, Post Traumatic Growth the the origin of his First Responder Mental Health Advocacy Foundation, My Arena.
They also both discuss their affiliation and support for The Overwatch Collective.
Erin and Travis' entire conversation went for 2.5 hours, so it's broken up into two separate parts, as some heavy content is discussed in detail and at length.
**Please be mindful that details of extreme child abuse are mentioned during this episode**
Podcast Guest; Episode 7
Hayley - Former Senior Sergeant with Australian Police Force, Trauma Informed Yoga Instructor
In this episode, Erin speaks with Hayley, a former Senior Sergeant with a State Police Force in Australia and current trauma informed yoga instructor.
They discuss what lead Hayley to want to join a law enforcement organization, the different positions she held throughout her career and the heavy burden that is placed on people in a leadership role, knowing they have to send their troops out to face trauma on a daily basis.
Erin and Hayley discuss some of the challenges faced in policing, being a female in a male dominated profession, the impact that workplace occupational trauma can have and what made her walk away from the career that she loved.
Hayley is remarkably and courageously honest in sharing the negative experiences she endured, the maladaptive coping skills she practiced for so long to the point of complete burnout and her PTSD diagnosis.
They talk about what happens when you ask for help and it isn't there, how mental health was and is addressed and what could be done better.
Hayley also shares how she's found her way since leaving her policing career and how finding yoga and becoming an instructor, has changed her life for the better.
It was an absolute pleasure to speak with Hayley and we hope you enjoy listening to this episode!
Hayley is the co-founder of Frontline Wellness (Along with Elise from Episode 4) and you can find their Instagram page via: frontline_wellness_au