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McNeese Holds First Responders Day

November 6, 2019 | McNeese Public Relations
Faculty and staff of the Kay Dore Counseling Clinic
From left to right: Royce Charles, psychology graduate student; Misty Kelly, director of behavioral health for Lake Charles Memorial Archer Institute Behavioral Health Hospital; April Broussard, operations director for the McNeese Autism Program and the Kay Doré Counseling Clinic (KDCC); Caitlyn Kudrecki, psychology graduate student; and Dr. Kevin Yaudes, assistant professor of psychology and faculty adviser to the KDCC.

The Kay Doré Counseling Clinic (KDCC) at McNeese State University hosted a First Responders Day to bring attention to the mental health needs of police officers, firefighters and EMTs. The event was sponsored by Lake Charles Memorial Archer Institute Behavioral Health Hospital.

Dr. Kevin Yaudes, assistant professor of psychology, and Misty Kelly, the director of behavioral health for Lake Charles Memorial Archer Institute, discussed with attendees how stress can impact the mental health of first responders, challenges first responders face in accessing mental health services and therapies for first responders.

“We hope to make it an annual event,” says Yaudes. “Over the past year, I have spent quite a bit of time working with suicide prevention and education through the KDCC. As counselors, if a client says that they are thinking about suicide we have a number of options and resources to help them. The story is different for first responders. They are often first on the scene of a crisis and it is often less clear what the situation is when they first arrive. This made me realize the need for support services for people in these positions.”

“It was our pleasure to provide support and recognition to the Kay Doré Counseling Clinic during this First Responders Recognition Event for the McNeese Police Department,” says Kelly. “The partnership of McNeese State University, the Kay Doré Counseling Clinic and Behavioral Health of Lake Charles Memorial Health System provides additional outpatient resources to serve at-risk populations and allows us to coordinate our efforts to better serve the diversity of our community and the people in crisis. In addition, this partnership is providing training for the Behavioral Health of LCMH personnel with specialized focus on awareness of suicide prevention and suicide prevention resources and how to identify signs of distress.”