More dates

Columbus, OH First Responder Mental Health and Wellness Conference

This event has passed Register

Event description

Presented by 1st Responder Conferences in Partnership with First H.E.L.P.

Co-hosted by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office

Endorsed by Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and Mental Health America of Ohio

Supported by Ohio Office of First Responder Wellness

Venue: Columbus Marriott Northwest 5605 Blazer Parkway, Dublin, OH 43017

This training is for all 1st responders, police, fire, military/veterans, corrections, dispatchers, chaplains, retired 1st responders, spouses, professional staff, clinicians, and all who work in the public safety field.

1st Responder Conferences presents a multi-faceted two-day seminar and networking event for improving the mental health and wellness of our first responders. By discussing the real 21st Century issues that are consistently facing our first responders and their families, our conference will provide awareness, resources and action items to combat PTSD/PTSI, depression, suicide, addiction, stress, and overall mental health.

1st Responder Conferences proudly introduces a line-up of credible nationally recognized speakers who will address matters that impact the personal and professional lives of first responders and their family members through dynamic and engaging presentations for the entire first responder community. This two-day seminar is unique in that your spouses or significant others who support you are invited to come learn with you.

With a progressive and forward message of optimism and sustainability, 1st Responder Conferences goal is pushing past traditional silence and bringing first responder wellness to our Everyday Heroes.

Register now, seating is limited.

Speakers and Topics:

“Building Financial Strength in First Responder Families"- (Ret. Sgt.) Nicholas Daugherty, FinancialCop- Building Financial Strength in First Responder families is the premier financial wellness class designed for first responders, taught by first responders. We will cover the importance of financial wellness for your personal and professional lives. Topics include budgeting, how to avoid debt and pay off debt, the importance of will & estate planning, and how to build a plan to begin to win with money. Taught by instructors that have the heart of teachers to over thousands of first responders from over 2,000 agencies nationwide. Nick Daugherty began his career with the Grand Prairie Police Department (GPPD) in 2003 before semi-retiring in 2017 as a Sergeant. He continues to serve as reserve officer for Grand Prairie PD. Nick operates FinancialCop, the largest financial wellness training provider for first responders nationally as well as providing comprehensive fiduciary only financial planning for first responders. FinancialCops have coached hundreds of first responder families through almost every type of financial crisis and scenario possible. He also works with several first responder nonprofit organizations, focusing on financial wellness for those suffering from PTSD and suicidal thoughts.

"ACE(s) in the Hole: When childhood trauma and occupational stressors collide"- Cinnamon Reiheld, Founder, Clinician and Trainer of Whole House Counseling and Consultation- There are a large number of first responders who have higher ACES scores which can add nuances to their healing process from occupational exposure of traumatic events. This training will focus on attachment issues, early childhood trauma, and how it complicates PTS in first responders.  Whole House Counseling & Consultation was founded when Cinnamon Reiheld spent eight months serving a local fire department following a line of duty death. While providing counseling and emotional support, she quickly realized that the need for culturally competent mental health care for first responders extended beyond this one tragic event. In addition to individual counseling and trauma recovery, Cinnamon saw the need to train departments and help team members support one another by understanding the inevitable effects of stress on the mind and body. One of our top priorities is eliminating the stigma around seeking mental health treatment, while giving departments the tools to function well both internally and for our communities.

“Leading Mindfully”- Amber Miskovich, Owner of the Wonder Within- First responders have a 5-year life expectancy post-retirement. My mission in this hour is to wake individuals up to where they are living and where they are dying. Leadership comes from the way we lead ourselves. We hit on everything from the mind, body, relationships and habits.  Amber is a former full-time firefighter/paramedic, 15-year Air Force Veteran as a medic and a 22-year massage therapist.  She has led fitness and leadership in both the military and for the fire academy.  Amber is a Yoga and fitness instructor currently on site at 30 fire stations weekly working on mental and physical health. She also works with amazing organizations such as Semper Fi the fund, Save A Warrior and Ohio Assist.

"Miracles"- Nicholas Malo Ret. Ohio State Trooper, Data Analyst & Operating Support Coordinator for Save a Warrior- Nicholas will share his personal story and speak about what it was like before, during and after he retired and what tools and resources that helped him overcome.  Nick is a retired State Trooper from Ohio. His time with OSHP spanned from 1999-2019 when he medically retired after a distinguished career. Nick had a very powerful and life-altering experience while at his cohort. After leaving Warrior Village, Nick focused on his own recovery and rediscovered how to be of service to others as a shepherd and as an ambassador for Save A Warrior. Nick joined the Save A Warrior team in 2022. In his role, Nick supports the organization's effort to track the progress of alumni in their recovery. He supports the alumni of the organization through being a servant leader. Nick has also rededicated himself to becoming the best Father and husband that he can be to his family.

“Ohio Wellness Programs and Initiatives”- Steven M. Click, Director of First Responder Wellness for the Ohio Department of Public Safety- This presentation will be an overview of the Ohio Office of First Responder Wellness and other wellness programs and initiatives in the State of Ohio including funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 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 since 1992 and oversaw the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Member’s Assistance Team (MAT) from its inception in 2002 and previously served as the Operational Commander. In 1992, he received the Ohio Distinguished Law Enforcement Valor Award, the highest award for valor in Ohio. He and his wife Lori live in Grove City, Ohio.

"Defining the Parameters of Wellness"- Dr. Kathleen Chard, PHD- In this workshop, Dr. Kate Chard will discuss the relationship between stress and wellness. The discussions around behavioral health and wellness in the first responder community have flourished over the last few years but what does wellness mean? How do you define wellness? Dr. Chard will discuss the long term impact of stress, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and behavioral health treatments that have been found to be most effective. She will also make recommendations for what you can do in your everyday life to improve your chances of not suffering from the long-term effects of stress from your career.Dr. Chard is the Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Director of Trauma Recovery Center at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. She is also a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Director of the UC Health Stress Center at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Chard is an international expert on the assessment and treatment of stress-related disorders including PTSD. Dr. Chard is an active researcher, and she has received over 20 million dollars in funding to examine stress epidemiology, assessment and treatment in Veterans, first responders and civilians. She frequently provides training on the causes of stress, stress management and PTSD to first responders throughout the United States.

"Understanding Post-traumatic Stress, The Basics" – Sgt. Dave Corlett (Retired)- In this workshop Sgt. Corlett will teach attendees how to recognize and begin to address PTSD and related issues. Attendees will be instructed in the disorder itself, how it can manifest and what can cause it. The information will all be provided from a first responder viewpoint and will assist attendees with identification of issues in both the field and coworkers.Sergeant Dave Corlett is an Ohio native and thirty one year veteran of the Cincinnati Police Department . Sergeant Corlett is the founder of the Military Liaison Group within the department and an instructor with the Hamilton County Mental Health Crisis Teams. Sergeant Corlett has worked with the Veterans administration and local court system to improve the relations between our nation’s military veterans and law enforcement.  Sergeant Corlett’s program was recognized by the DOJ and the winner of the 2021 L. Anthony Sutin award for innovative law enforcement and community partnerships. Sergeant Corlett has instructed at the Ohio Attorney General's Conference, The Ohio Crime Prevention Association Conference, Hamilton County Crisis Intervention Teams, The Cincinnati Police Academy, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department and several national conferences.

“Creating and Maintaining a Mentally Well Program”- Alison Fienning, MSW, LISW-S, LMHC, CCTP, Pinpoint Behavioral Health Solutions- As we are in a culture shift of destigmatizing mental health for all first responders, departments have begun conducting mental health wellness checks and creating mental health wellness programs. In 2019, Alison and her team at Pinpoint were the first in their area to begin conducting ‘neck up check ups’. Through the years, they have been able to modify through learning best practices and navigating department needs to create a stellar mental health wellness program for several departments. She and her team have also provided consultation to others in order to assist them in maintaining a mentally well program, in order to reduce burnout and increase retention. Through this segment, you will be able to identify the key components to creating and maintaining a mental health wellness program. You will be provided with direction on how to pick the best suited clinicians, expectations of the wellness checks for best practices as well as how to increase awareness with resources both locally and nationally. Get ready to walk away with a template and some ways you can present the need for a mental wellness program to your department.   Alison Fienning, MSW, LISW-S, LMHC, CCTP, EMDRt began working in the mental health field over a decade ago. Alison holds a bachelors in social work from Ohio University and Masters in social work from The University of Cincinnati. She is a former K9 handler with Campbell County Search and Rescue Team. In the past decade, Alison has had a variety of experiences making her a well rounded clinician. In late 2017, she opened Pinpoint Behavioral Health Solutions. She specializes in providing behavioral health services to the first responder and military communities. She is licensed to see individuals in Ohio, Kentucky and Florida. She is the wife of a firefighter and is a certified IAFF peer supporter (spouse) certified in CISM (group & individual), facilitator with Great Oaks Career Campuses, instructor with the Center For Relationship Education and trained in teaching Mental Health First Aid. She and the Pinpoint team provide several departments clinical support and were the first in their area to begin conducting mental health wellness checks in 2019.

"Family Readiness: Prepare, Partner and Prevent"- Karen Solomon, First H.E.L.P President- The families of first responders often seek to find balance between home and the job, which is challenged by the nature of the work.  We will discuss understanding how we can help the families of first responders as they are an integral part of a successful career. Topics include how first responder culture may affect their loved one, identifying available resources, developing a readiness plan for the family and the importance of maintaining a life and identity outside the profession.  Karen is the creator of and the author of Hearts Beneath the Badge and The Price They Pay as well as many articles about law enforcement suicide. Her focus is the stories of the families who have lost an officer to suicide and the officers who suffer with the feeling that they have nowhere to turn. Karen was a member of the 2018 Officer Safety and Wellness Group Meeting, the co-Chair of the Data and Research Committee of the National Consortium on Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention and is currently on the FBI task force to implement the Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act. Karen is also the wife of a police officer.

"Critical Incident Post Traumatic Growth for 1st Responders"- Officer George Mussini, Baltimore County Police Department- From the 911 call taker, to the Emergency room or morgue, critical incidents can affect us all but we don't have to become vicarious victims of trauma. Learn how to identify, address, and harness post traumatic stress and turn it into post traumatic growth!  Police officer George Mussini has over 30 years of experience as an active police officer and former firefighter. George is a Medal of Honor recipient and uses his years of experience to assist in peer support and wellness roles within his agency and around the country. George served as an adjunct professor in several criminal justice topics and now serves as an instructor for two nationally recognized officer safety and wellness, and suicide awareness & prevention programs. George takes his training knowledge, experience and interactive humor to the stage to help change the direction and attitudes about trauma and growth!

"Survive & Thrive: A Path through Trauma into Resilience"- Ryan Dedmon, Outreach Director, 911 Training Institute- A former dispatcher will discuss the accumulation of stress from personal loss and professional trauma that he experienced. His personal story of survival and journey to healing will help empower all first responders to seek peer support services and mental health treatment to build their resilience. Ryan Dedmon is a retired police dispatcher from Southern California. He currently serves as the Outreach Director for the 911 Training Institute. Ryan is a California POST-certified Academy Instructor, a CIT International certified CIT Coordinator, and has a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology. He teaches various Advanced Officer Training classes at the Regional Criminal Justice Training Center at Golden West College and at the Orange County Sheriff's Regional Training Center. He blends his education and experience behind the console to help first-responders recover and grow from post-traumatic stress.

Certificates of Attendance Available- All attendees will receive a certificate of attendance upon completion of the conference evaluation that can be used for self-submittal

EMS CE’s will be provided by: Washington Township Fire Department (Approval number: 1155 / Expiration date: 31 July 2025)

Registration is $325.00 (plus Humanitix platform fees) and includes the following:
A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided on both days. The venue has limited food choices so if you have dietary restrictions or allergies, please be advised. There will be a Networking Social on September 7th from 4:00-6:00 pm @ the venue. This is a great opportunity to get to know others, ask questions and share your ideas and thoughts with other like-minded professionals. Appetizers will be provided and beverages will be available for purchase.

*You must register to attend. Seats are limited for this conference.

A limited amount of scholarships are available for those with financial hardships. Please contact Amanda at for more information.

Please note Everyone will receive a registration confirmation email from our registration platform Humanitix.  There is a possibility your agency's email security system may block those emails or send them to your junk folder.  If you do not receive a confirmation email after registration or an email two weeks prior to the conference, please contact Shawn at

Please note our 30 Day Refund Policy:
There are a lot of costs involved in organizing a conference. The reason we list our 30-day nonrefundable statement on the registration website when an attendee registers, is due to having to purchase everything in advance. We will allow registrations to be transferable, so food and other items don't go to waste. There will be no exceptions to this policy. 

*Accommodations: Conference specials/discounted hotel rates available: Group block/discounted hotel rates available: 

We have a block of rooms at the Marriott Columbus Northwest, 5605 Blazer Parkway, Dublin, OH. 

We have a group block at the Marriott Columbus Northwest for September 6th and 7th for $122.00 a night. Reservations for the Event will be made by individual attendees directly with Marriott reservations at 1 (800) 228-9290 or online using the booking link below. All reservations need to be guaranteed by each individual with a credit card, advanced payment, or guaranteed room
and tax. Guaranteed reservations are held without occupancy for one night only. To avoid cancellation charges, reservations, should be cancelled by 11:59 PM 2 days prior to arrival.  Reservations by attendees must be received on or before Wednesday, August 16, 2023, (the “Cut-Off Date”). At the Cut- Off Date, Hotel will review the reservation pick up for the Event, release the unreserved rooms for general sale, and determine whether or not it can accept reservations based on a space- and rate-available basis at the First Responders group rate after this date.

Booking Link: Book your group rate for First Responder Conference Sept 2023

If the group block is full, please contact us and we will ask the hotel for more rooms.


Photograph/Video Disclaimer Statement

1st Responder Conferences (1RC) reserves the right to use any photograph/video taken at any event sponsored by 1RC, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video. 1RC may use the photograph/video in publications or other media material produced, used or contracted by 1RC including but not limited to: brochures, invitations, books, newspapers, magazines, television, websites, etc. No video recording by attendees permitted.

Waiver of Liability

Some of the material presented at this event may cause emotional triggers. We will have onsite assistance if needed. There will also be additional resources available if needed. This conference is not intended to provide counseling services, whether medical, psychological or of any other kind, nor to diagnose, prevent, cure or treat any disease, disorder or injury. This conference is certainly not intended to replace the advice of a physician. If you need expert advice, please consult a competent professional. This conference is only intended for “educational” use and it should only be used as a guide.


Written consent may be given by speakers, but 1st RC staff will need to be informed prior.

At registration we will have a waiver of liability and a photo release form that must be signed. If you have any questions regarding the waiver please contact us, so we can be of assistance.

To download a flyer please visit or contact us for flyers, basic info letters, and sponsor/industry partner/vendor forms for your organizations to share. 

Please note, sometimes we have last minute speaker changes due to unforeseen reasons.

Powered by

Tickets for good, not greed Humanitix donates 100% of profits from booking fees to charity

Refund policy

30 Day Refund Policy There are a lot of costs involved in organizing a conference (Venue, speaker fees, travel costs, hotels, catering, beverages, marketing, conference supplies, programs, lanyards, SWAG bags, etc.). The reason we list the 30-day nonrefundable statement on the registration website when an attendee registers, is due to having to purchase everything in advance. This is why we allow registrations to be transferable, so food and other items don't go to waste. There will be no exceptions to this policy.