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Your Oxygen Mask First

Your Oxygen Mask First

By Unicorn Wellness

On a plane, the flight attendants tell you to put on YOUR oxygen mask first before you help others; because you CAN’T help anyone unless you help yourself first!

This podcast is for public safety professionals or anyone who cares for others in high-stress environments. We are focused on helping us all live the best life possible.

Please join us as we delve into the depths of mental health, physical health and fitness, wellness, professional development, and improving relationships, and maybe have a little fun in the process.
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First In Wellness

Your Oxygen Mask FirstMar 08, 2021

Firearms and Mental Health

Firearms and Mental Health

Trigger warning: discussion on firearms, suicide, and violence.

As the discussion around firearm ownership and accessibility becomes more and more heated in America, the conversation around mental health can be overshadowed.  Politics and passion aside; focusing on having accessible mental health care without judgment for everyone (including those who own firearms) is critical.

We recorded this episode a few months ago, however, I did not publish it when I planned due to multiple suicides by firearm deaths that happened in our community at the time.  I felt the timing was not appropriate at that moment with these incidents still fresh.  The more I held on to release, the more incidents kept happening around the country.  I realized there would never be a "right" time to talk about it.  The right time is now.

In this episode, I talk to Jake Wiskerchen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Zephyr Wellness, and Michael Sodini, Founder of the non-profit Walk the Talk America. They have partnered to make mental health resources more accessible to firearm owners, as well as delivering training to mental health professionals to be more culturally competent when treating people in crisis who own firearms (are afraid of the ramifications of disclosing that information).

It was an eye-opening conversation and I learned so much more about the importance of treating the source of the problem and not just the symptom.

To learn more about their programs:

Jun 19, 202101:46:49
Living Ideation: A New Approach to Suicide Prevention and Intervention
Mar 16, 202155:21
First In Wellness
Mar 08, 202101:12:43
Erin Craw | Communication in First Responder Mental Health
Mar 01, 202153:18
Dr. Kimberly Miller | Exploring Bias and Privilege
Jul 25, 202046:44
NNPSN: Resilience In Uncertain Times

NNPSN: Resilience In Uncertain Times

We are facing uncertain times with information changing by the minute.  How is a first responder or hospital/EMS worker supposed to cope in the face of the COVID-19 crisis?  In this raw and unedited episode (recorded in a firehouse...don't worry, we didn't touch anything), we sit down with Dr. Steve Nicholas, who is a trauma-informed clinician who works with first responders and Northern Nevada Peer Support Network President Derek Reid to discuss how to navigate this uncharted territory and how to show up for work and at home with a sense of purpose. We discuss anxiety, "spinning", and the danger of isolation and what you can do to find connection in the absence of physical connection.  We all hope this helps!

Mar 19, 202031:57
NNPSP: Tami Burns - We are Human and Not Immune to Making Mistakes

NNPSP: Tami Burns - We are Human and Not Immune to Making Mistakes

As first responders and caretakers, we fall under some pretty heavy expectations.  But sometimes we fail to realize that we are human and not immune to making mistakes.

In this episode, we sit down with the lovely Tami Burns.  Tami is an experienced R.N. who found herself addicted to pain pills after being prescribed opioids after getting hurt.  Tami tried to get help but wasn't able to get the support she needed in time before things took a turn for the worst.  But, Tami is resilient and found her way back to nursing after treatment and a little help from her nursing peers.

Tami is a spunky and warm person with a true heart of gold who tells us about her life as a helper and is very open, honest, and authentic with her journey.  She finally realized she is not alone, and neither are you.  Please listen to her story with an open mind and compassion.

Thank you Tami for choosing US to help you tell your story!

Feb 24, 202040:35
Northern Nevada Peer Support Network - NNPSN
Jan 26, 202043:28
Athena Ives - Healing From Sexual Assault Through Helping Others

Athena Ives - Healing From Sexual Assault Through Helping Others

Warning: this episode contains discussion surrounding sexual assault and does go into some detail on the specific acts. Also, adult language and humor warning.

Although sexual assault is starting to become a topic that can be discussed, some survivors are still terrified to tell their stories. Meet Athena Ives; she is a Combat Marine Veteran, author, speaker, doctoral candidate, and a survivor. After being sexually abused as a child by a family member, Athena was also sexually assaulted - twice - while in the military. 

While her story may be difficult to hear, it also needs to be heard. And she tells it so beautifully, coming from a place of strength and trying to help others in the process. With her story, she talks about how others can help survivors and how we need to build a culture of listening without judgement.

Athena Ives:

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) - Vet Together: 

Greater Veterans Spokane Facebook:

The Saluting Marine Website:

Veterans for Natural Rights Website:

The Barracks Facebook:

Leave No Paws Behind USA Facebook:

The Kirstie Ennis Foundation Facebook:

Jul 08, 201901:00:01
Michelle Dutro | Inner North Star a Non-profit offering PTSD Retreats for Veterans and First Responders
Jun 14, 201901:00:10
Kevin Briggs | Guardian of the Golden Gate
Jun 03, 201947:17
Scott Mann - Power of a Story
May 27, 201957:57
Katie St. Pierre - POAS Military Recovery
May 13, 201953:31
"Increasing Resilience in Police and Emergency Personnel" by Dr. Stephanie Conn
May 06, 201948:30
Over 120,000 homeless Veterans in America | Kimberly Mitchell with VVSD (Veterans Village San Diego)
Apr 29, 201950:17
National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week & Ricardo Martinez of #IAM911 and 9-1-1 SAVES Acts
Apr 15, 201901:12:22
The Mighty Oaks Foundation - Healing Veterans and Marriages
Apr 02, 201958:29
Resilient 911 with John Marshall and Sara Gilman

Resilient 911 with John Marshall and Sara Gilman

The life of a 9-1-1 dispatcher is filled with the highest of highs...and the lowest of lows.  99% of the people a dispatcher deals with are not having the best day; maybe even having the worst day of their lives.  And yes, there are the times a dispatcher saves the day; but those accomplishments rarely take away the heartache and trauma they experience every day.  Throw shift work, poor eating habits, lack of exercise on top of all that, and you have a ticking timebomb.

That is why we are honored to sit down with John Marshall, author of "The Resilient 9-1-1 Professional", as well as one of his co-authors and EMDR expert Sara Gilman.  Together, they outline some tips and tricks from the book that 9-1-1 professionals can use to put their OWN oxygen mask on first! 

And don't forget April 14-20, 2019 is National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week (aka "Dispatch Week"), so make sure to show your gratitude to your local dispatchers and telecommunicators!  Coffee and chocolate are always good choices...

911 Training Institute



The Resilient 911 Professional Book: 

Coherence Associates Inc.



EMDR International Association (EMDRIA):

National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week:

Mar 25, 201959:33
YOMF035: Michael Johnson - Battling Homelessness
Feb 27, 201951:46
YOMF034: Gregory Jumes and the Victor App
Feb 11, 201944:24
YOMF033: Eva Belanger - Alternative Treatments for Veteran Mental Health
Feb 04, 201957:22
YOMF032: Andrew Gross - EMT

YOMF032: Andrew Gross - EMT

Some people find themselves drawn to a life of public service after being exposed to an emergency situation in their personal lives.  In this episode, we talk to new EMT Andrew Gross and discuss how Andrew is channeling his traumatic experience as a patient at a young age into his love for treating others in emergency medical situations.

Jan 29, 201922:31
YOMF031: Sabrina Barella - Relationships With Military Members
Jan 21, 201947:05
YOMF030: Discussions with a Suicidologist - Dr. Blaire Schembari
Jan 07, 201941:31
YOMF029: Fitness, Health, and Wellness with Officer Ashley Smith
Dec 31, 201835:13
YOMF028: Dr. Kimberly Miller - Stress Management
Dec 24, 201801:09:34
YOMF027: Dr. Kimberly Miller - Compassion Fatigue
Dec 18, 201849:37
YOMF026: Ryan Stevenson - MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD
Dec 12, 201801:00:13
YOMF025: Melisa Celikel - Let’s Get You Organized!
Nov 28, 201824:28
YOMF024: Joe Hudak - Part 2 Vet Series
Nov 12, 201829:18
YOMF023: Bill Protzmann: Music Care - Alternative Healing
Oct 08, 201858:12
YOMF022: Healing from Trauma - Sexual Assault and the Veteran
Oct 01, 201828:08
YOMF021: Steven Padilla: From The Depths of Despair to Capital Hill
Sep 24, 201855:18
YOMF020: Jeremy Stahlnecker: When Regular Therapy Isn't Enough
Sep 17, 201833:35
YOMF019: Shad Meshad: Pioneering PSTD Research in Veterans
Sep 13, 201855:48
YOMF018: The Reality of Being a Veteran: Joe's Story with Julie & Joe Hudak
Sep 10, 201845:48
YOMF017: Survivors of Suicide: You Are Not Alone with Joyce Bruggeman & Floyd Strayer

YOMF017: Survivors of Suicide: You Are Not Alone with Joyce Bruggeman & Floyd Strayer

Suicide is not an easy topic to talk about. And because of the stigma surrounding suicide, many survivors of suicide may feel shunned, guilty, and alone. But this needs to change to help end the vicious cycle. In this episode, we talk with Joyce Bruggeman, the Executive Director of the amazing organization Survivors of Suicide Loss in San Diego to discuss why sharing our stories of suicide is so important for not only healing, but to also help prevent others from taking their own lives. Joyce is joined by Floyd Strayer, a Veteran who is dedicating his time to share his own stories of how he has been affected by suicide. Survivors of Suicide Loss (SOSL): SOSL’s 3rd Annual Ride for Life & After Party: SOSL’s Walk in Remembrance With Hope:
Sep 06, 201839:56
YOMF016: Veteran Crisis Outreach Initiative with William Felty and Sara Correll
Sep 03, 201801:05:47
YOMF015: Therapy Dogs with Stephanie
Aug 27, 201828:56
YOMF014: Ryan Dedmon - Be Like a Redwood Tree
Aug 20, 201848:04
YOMF013: APCO 2018 Recap and a Look Ahead

YOMF013: APCO 2018 Recap and a Look Ahead

Recap of APCO 2018; why I have been slacking lately and a look ahead to some exciting things!
Aug 14, 201810:24
YOMF012: Intuitive Parenting with Kristi Finney
Aug 06, 201834:50
YOMF011: Wendy Mcilwraith a Suicide Survivor & Code9 Project Ambassador
Jul 23, 201858:02
YOMF010: Joyfully Divorced with Diane McDermott
Jul 16, 201831:44
YOMF009: Rapid Transformational Therapy with Amy Turner
Jul 09, 201833:37
YOMF008: Abundance Daily
Jul 02, 201843:15
YOMF007: Holistic Fitness With Shelby Foster
Jun 25, 201830:59
YOMF006: Shauna's Story
Jun 18, 201817:14
YOMF005: You are Not Your Job - Kory and Baking
Jun 11, 201824:43
YOMF004: Gabriela a 911 Dispatcher

YOMF004: Gabriela a 911 Dispatcher

Imagine going from happy to sad, elated to defeated, exhilarated to exhausted all in the same hour! That is the real life of a 9-1-1 Dispatcher/Telecommunicator. Today, we sit down with 26-year 9-1-1 dispatch veteran Gabriela Jackson to hear about her unique experiences and challenges through her noble career.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this and all episodes of Your Oxygen Mask First are our own and do not reflect those of the agencies/cities/or municipalities we serve.
Jun 04, 201841:53