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More than hot and smoky: the mental health needs of firefighters

Fighting wildland fires is dangerous business, in so many ways. The physical challenges are usually emphasized, and they are considerable. But stop to consider what the sight of all the destruction does to the human mind, in addition to how the mind interprets the often backbreaking work of firefighting.

We explore the issue in a new edition of Mental Health Matters, our joint project with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Southern Oregon chapter. Andra Hollenbeck from NAMI-SO talks to Jeff Dill, the founder and CEO of the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance. Dill and Dylan Johnson, a Weyerhaeuser forester and fire crew leader, talk about the mental health needs of firefighters and how they are being addressed.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.