The WCPR program is for first responders whose lives have been affected by their work experience. WCPR is one of only two residential treatment facilities of its kind in the world. The other program is the On-Site Academy in Massachusetts, with which WCPR is affiliated. The WCPR residential program provides an educational experience designed to help current and retired first responders, recognize the signs and symptoms of work-related stress including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in themselves and in others. FRSN prefers to identify PTSD as a post traumatic stress injury.
WCPR is a program of the First Responder Support Network (FRSN), staffed by experienced first responders, mental health clinicians and chaplains, specifically trained in trauma recovery. All of the WCPR peers, clinicians, and chaplains volunteer their time while participating in the retreats. Clinicians close their practice for a week, peer support members spend vacation, comp time, or trade shifts, taking time away from their families, and chaplains take time off of their jobs. Why do all of these people give of their time? Because they ‘get it’ and they care.
Our goal is to help the first responder and retirees regain control over their lives and either return to work with a new perspective on stress and coping, move on with their lives if that is a more appropriate decision, or simply enjoy retirement.
In 1999, a handful of individuals, which included, Northern California first responders, (police officers, firefighters, 9-1-1 dispatchers, EMS members), clinicians and a chaplain came together to discuss and plan how to help fellow first responders overwhelmed by the debilitating impact of critical incident stress. Among that group were a few individuals who had attended The On-Site Academy in Massachusetts prior to 1999 because they were overwhelmed by the debilitating impact of critical incident stress, and they could not find the needed help on the West Coast. Experiencing how deeply their lives were affected and changed from the program at On-Site, they knew that there was a need for a similar program on the West Coast. Over the course of two years, and with the help of the staff members from The On-Site Academy in Massachusetts, this handful of passionate and dedicated individuals created the West Coast Post-trauma Retreat (WCPR) and the first WCPR retreat was held in 2001.
Attendees spend 6 very full days at our beautiful retreat house in Northern California. Meals and lodging are provided at no additional charge. Over the course of 6 days and 5 nights, attendees participate in educational segments, clinical treatment, and peer support from other first responders, most who have attended the retreat. The core of the program includes intensive debriefings in a group that includes culturally competent clinicians, peers, and a chaplain. The retreat also includes individual therapy, and a 90-day plan for follow-up treatment and action steps. The presence of a chaplain throughout the week lends a spiritual component to the process.
If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, isolation, suicidal thoughts, sleep problems, relationship stress, work difficulties, the loss of a spouse or partner, addiction issues, are having trouble coping with daily activities, etc., then you should seek help. If you have had previous counseling and/or medication without improvement in your symptoms, then WCPR may be right for you.
If you would like to attend WCPR, call for an initial telephone intake interview. This interview will take about 30 minutes, allowing time for you and the Client Intake Coordinator to determine if the retreat is a good fit for you. Call (415) 721-9789 and ask to talk with someone about attending the WCPR program.
The Mission of the West Coast Post-trauma Retreat is to provide a safe and confidential environment for the promotion of healing, education, and support to those dedicated to the emergency service professions.
RCMP PTSD by Daniel Sundahl
I use to feel that because of my symptoms I was a freak in a side show. It is good to know I am just a face in the crowd.WCPR client
Before coming here I was living in a house full of circus mirrors. My life was so distorted. Thanks for giving me a normal mirror and allowing me to see my true self again.WCPR client
There was no touchy/feely group hugs, etc. Just well organized instructions & discussions that helped make sense of the way I’d reacted to some chaotic events.WCPR client
It seems like saying "thank you" isn't enough, so i will make you a promise. I will choose to live.WCPR client
I feel this program not only saved my life but also my sanity. I thought I was the only one who felt like I did and I was wrong.WCPR client
I wanted to call and say thank you. There is life after the badge. You guys made a difference in my life. Thanks.WCPR client