Friends of Firefighters is dedicated to addressing the physical, mental health, and wellness needs of New York City's firefighters (retired and active) and their families. Our ongoing mission is to provide long-term support and services through confidential counseling, wellness services, and other assistance required by firefighters and their families.
Accomplishments: This past year we have succeeded in raising awareness to the needs of the firefighter community via three different fundraisers and a greater on-line presence. We have provided outreach and services; offered wellness services such as acupuncture, biofeedback, and yoga; and have offered resources such as referrals, scholarship opportunities, and guidance in budget and finances. The mental health program has provided approximately 600 counseling sessions to firefighters and family members. These services focus on providing relief from symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder; implementation of coping skills; strengthening of social supports and alternatives to aggression and substance abuse. The peer program provides activities formally once a month, and peer counselors are always available. Organizationally, we have expanded our staff body allowing us to focus more specifically on services. We have also added new members to our board of directors and advisers. Our ongoing goals are to continue to shape our work to meet the needs of this community. We will continue to offer services and assess our work through evaluations to ensure that we serve our mission. We expect to continue to offer wellness, mental health, and peer counseling support. In 2009, grants from foundations, trusts, and local government made up 43% of our funding, and in 2010 it jumped to 74%. In 2009, funding from general public was 57%, and in 2010 26%. Percentage of total expenses devoted to services was 91% in 2009, and 87% in 2010.
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