On this week’s episode we return to the Buckeye State to speak with Steve Click, Director of the Ohio Office of First Responder Wellness. We discuss how his professional, personal and professional experiences have facilitated his appointment to this unique position. Steve is poised to help all first responders and ultimately, the citizens of Ohio. He also explains how his state is taking a progressive approach in addressing first responder wellness.
According to Blue H.E.L.P., more than 940 first responders nationwide have taken their own lives over the last five years, with the majority of those deaths involving law enforcement officers. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more officers die by suicide than in the line of duty, and compared to the general population, law enforcement officers report much higher rates of depression, PTSD, burnout and other anxiety-related mental health conditions. Research also shows that stress from a career in law enforcement causes higher rates of secondary trauma such as heart diseases, divorce, alcoholism and other psychological illnesses.
Guest Bio: Steven M. Click serves as the Director of First Responder Wellness for the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Office of Criminal Justice Services. Prior to his current position, he served as the First Responder Liaison for Ohio Mental Health & Addiction Services. Steve is a retired lieutenant from the Ohio State Highway Patrol where he served for 36 years, completing his career assigned to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Office of Personnel / Ohio ASSIST program. Steve has been involved in peer support with the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Member’s Assistance Team (MAT) since its inception in 2002 and previously served as the Operational Commander. Prior to retirement, he oversaw all aspects of the team including policies, activations and training.
He has been active in peer support since being CISM trained in 1993. He was deployed to New York City twice after the 9/11 attacks and worked with the NYPD peer support program, POPPA.
He helped bring the Post Critical Incident Seminars to Ohio. He has been utilized as a peer in South Carolina, Kentucky, Texas and Georgia, for their PCIS / STLS programs.
He serves as the lead trainer for several training programs offered by OCJS, having provided training to a number of public safety and civilian agencies across Ohio. Steve graduated from Franklin University, with honors, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Safety Management with minors in leadership and public relations.
Steve is also a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Staff & Command.
Steve is trained in both group and individual peer support by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. He is also a certified QPR; Question, Pursued & Refer and Mental Health First Aid instructor.
Steve retired with 36 years of service with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and served in a number of assignments including; Commander of Cadet Training, the Patrol’s Motorcycle Unit, the Ohio Statehouse Detail as well as several field supervisory positions. In 1992, he received the Ohio Distinguished Law Enforcement Valor Award, the highest award for valor in Ohio.