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October 2023
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fers a three-day course through New England Mindfulness and Performance.
“Giving this training to re- sponders and veterans helps make them healthier and more efficient in their day-to-day lives, helping them become more pro- ductive members of the commu- nity.” There are so many people out there who need help and are not sure where to get it. Petter- son said that he’s seen that peo- ple seem to be more receptive to a peer. When people like first responders and veterans interact with others with similar experi- ences to them, it helps them con- nect more and feel not as alone.
Responders Together is 100% funded by donations and volun- teer-ran; however, the trainers are not volunteers, so the pro- gram appreciates any donations. People can donate straight to the Responders Together NH Venmo or send donations to P.O. Boc 293 in Bristol, NH. The QR code for their Venmo can be found on their website at http:// nate-today.html.
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veterans, and their families. First responders and veterans are at increased risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Injury, substance misuse, suicide, and other stress-related health conditions. Our respond- ers and veterans have a much higher rate of suicide and an av- erage life expectancy of 10 years less than the general population. The effects of stress response for responders and veterans are mitigated by the opportunity to participate in fitness/well- ness programs, peer and family supports/education through Responder Together NH, and collaborating community mem- bers. We have the opportunity for responders and veterans with their families to access Kilter Fitness Center and peer support individually or at our facility at no cost during identified hours every week. We also provide funding through fundraising, for access to other fitness facilities, personal/wellness coaching, and International Critical Incident Stress Foundation Peer Support training.”
I had the fantastic opportu- nity to speak with Aimee LaM- otte, Executive Director of the Responders Together Team, and Mike Petterson of New England Mindfulness and Performance LLC to talk about some upcom- ing classes and events.
Responders Together NH is launching their peer-facilitated wellness program on October
20th. The program will include New England Mindfulness and Performance, DustOff Yoga, and Lakes Region Vale Tudo Martial Arts Center. They are collaborating with New England Mindfulness and Performance LLC and The Wounded Warrior Project for their first class as well. Mike Petterson of New England Mindfulness and Performance will lead the eight-hour interac- tive session. First responders will come in and learn the wellness curriculum and become better
prepared to work with first re- sponders and veterans who need that support. “This program allows participants to get a look at what the stress can look like internally and physically for all of these people,” Petterson in- formed me. Petterson is a mind- fulness coach, works in Suicide Intervention, and has eight years of peer support experience. He also spent twenty-one years with the National Guard, and is going on year seventeen in the law en- forcement field. “This program
allows me to bring the skills that helped me cope with my PTSD to the participants,” Petterson continued. “We teach people to look internally and figure out they can cope with what they are going through.”
Petterson will also offer four weekly follow-ups to check in on the participant’s progress. “I want them to know that we are invested in them,” Petterson added. “The follow-up is criti- cal, seeing as we only have eight hours together.” Mike also said that there will be different op- tions available for how the partic- ipants want to do their check-ins. “We are a support to them.”
New England Mindfulness and Performance promotes awareness and knowledge of the stress and trauma that first responders and veterans expe- rience. The program initially started out with how to help athletes deal with stress, and as the program continued, the staff saw positive impacts as the ath- letes performed more efficiently. Mike has been doing Peer Sup- port for seven years and also of-
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