Salute the Badge: Organization helps first responders cope with PTSD

Salute the Badge

BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A new organization is helping first responders who witness trauma.

“We want our first responders to be healthy, mentally and emotionally healthy,” said Kattie Hollay, a Marine veteran who suffers from PTSD. She founded a non-profit group called Open Arms 4 U.

She has partnered with U.S. Air Force veteran and counselor Dudley Chewning, to provide help for first responders, military members, veterans and their families in coping with PTSD or trauma memory.

“A lot of people who feel they need help don’t ask for help because they don’t want to be labeled,” said Hollay, who wants to raise awareness about trauma memory and its impact.

“It can make a person sick. It can impact all their organ,” Chewning explained. “It can give them heart disease and also invade the brain and then it creates all kinds of mental health issues.”

Chewning says there are more treatments besides traditional talk therapy. He is working with hospitals and police and fire departments to share those tools and keep first responders and their families healthy.

“We should be supporting the first responders because the first responders their job is to help us. And if we don’t help them help us, we’re kicking ourselves in the rear.”

For more information on Open Arms 4 U, contact Dudley Chewning at dudleychewning@bellsouth.net

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