Texas Provides Free Peer Counseling Services For Hawaii First Responders
Governor Greg Abbott today announced the State of Texas is offering virtual peer-to-peer counseling services at no cost for law enforcement and firefighters in Hawaii who have been impacted by the response to the unprecedented wildfires on the island of Maui. The Texas Law Enforcement Peer Network (TLEPN) is a statewide partnership between the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and the Caruth Police Institute at the University of North Texas-Dallas to provide law enforcement with confidential access to specially-trained peers to help address work-related stressors, trauma, fatigue, and burnout and end suicide and self-harm.
“Texas stands with law enforcement and firefighters bravely and selflessly responding to the tragedy on Maui and the communities devastated by the wildfires,” said Governor Abbott. “Thank you to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and the Caruth Police Institute at the University of North Texas-Dallas for providing support to first responders managing the day-to-day stress and trauma of serving their communities and protecting their fellow Americans. I encourage first responders in Hawaii to reach out through the Texas Law Enforcement Peer Network and speak with a fellow first responder who can help share the burden they are carrying. In Texas, we honor our heroic first responders, and Cecilia and I continue to pray for all those in Hawaii affected by the tragic wildfires.”
Established by Governor Abbott and the Texas Legislature in 2021, TLEPN services will allow Hawaiian first responders 24/7 access to speak with a trained peer in a confidential manner at no cost. Participation in TLEPN is primarily offered to law enforcement officers, but due to the circumstances of the disaster in Hawaii, specially-trained peer volunteer services are being expanded to firefighters who are responding to the wildfires.
Since its launch in early 2022, TLEPN has trained and registered more than 740 Texas law enforcement officers to serve as peers, with more than 150 connections made with officers requesting services.