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The Exchange

Recognizing, Treating, And Managing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder In First Responders


Police, firefighters, and emergency personnel have specific stressors in their daily jobs that can lead to long-term mental health impacts. We look at how the profession and our state are trying to improve its understanding, and response, to PTSD in this workforce.


  • Major Russell Conte - Former Chief of State Police, and works in peer counseling and behavioral health, and is on the Board of Directors for NAMI NH. He is the co-chair of the state's Suicide Prevention Council.
  • Todd Donovan - Firefighter and paramedic for the Derry Fire Department and Data Specialist for the Division of Fire Standards and Training and Emergency Medical Services. He shares his own experience with mental illness with first responders and other groups to help spread awareness about treatment and prevent suicide.
  • Chief David Goldstein - Chief of Police in Franklin.
  • Dr. Nicole Sawyer - Licensed clinical psychologist and Vice Chair of the NH Legislative Commission on PTSD & TBI. She works primarily with survivors of trauma, specifically combat veterans, law enforcement, firefighters and EMS. She is a supporting psychologist for the NH State Police Peer Support Unit. 

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

You can find additional mental health resources in New Hampshire from the N.H. National Alliance on Mental Illness website.