Reboot Recovery: A Faith-Based Approach to Healing for the First Responder Community

Posted by Matthew Thompson
On February 21, 2024

As first responders and public service professionals, how do we properly manage the stress and trauma we see daily? How do we take off the uniform, walk through the doorway of our homes, and connect with the people we love the most?   They see us as superheroes, invincible, strong warriors for good. But how do we see ourselves? Sadly, for most of us, we do not see what others see. We are hurt, broken, angry, and full of shame and guilt. We could have been faster, smarter, better trained, and maybe they would have lived. If I could just be better. This is the story we start telling ourselves and sadly, over time we start to believe it. How do we regain control of our thoughts, our minds, our fears, and our shame? There is hope, and that hope is in Jesus Christ and Him alone. 

The mental health challenges facing first responders are a significant concern. These challenges raise several questions about how to best help those suffering through these unique hardships.  Studies and reports have indicated an alarming rise in the amount of mental health concerns first responders are experiencing due to the constant exposure to traumatic events, and the demanding nature of this job.

Reboot Recovery First Responders Program

Reboot Recovery, founded by Jenny and Evan Owens in 2011, is an organization dedicated to facilitating healing through faith-based programs.  Recently, I had the privilege of meeting Scott McPherson who serves as the First Responder Program Coordinator for Reboot Recovery.  His passion for being a bridge for first responders to heal mentally and spiritually along with his heart for the Lord has created a successful program giving first responders the support needed to begin the process of acknowledging and working through traumatic experiences. 

Reboot Recovery Services

The program equips participants with practical tools and coping skills that extend beyond the program, empowering them to navigate life’s difficulties more effectively. Focusing on a strong commitment to holistic healing, community support, faith-based resilience, and skill-building, the programs offered by Reboot Recovery are a valuable resource for first responders. As the organization continues to make strides in facilitating recovery, its impact suggests a potential avenue for rethinking and expanding approaches to mental health and rehabilitation.

Reboot Recovery First Responders

Specifically, First Responder REBOOT (a program offered within Reboot Recovery) is a peer-led, faith-based 12-week program.  This program is designed to provide a structured and comprehensive approach to healing through various elements that address the emotional, spiritual, and relational aspects of critical incident stress and trauma. The program is broken down into weekly segments that include an introduction and orientation, understanding trauma, spiritual resilience, relational healing, coping strategies, integration, and future planning. The program is currently offered both online and in person and class registration can be completed on their website.  

The emotional toll of our experiences can be heavy, and seeking mental health treatment is not a sign of weakness but a courageous act of strength. Christ is our beacon of hope that guides us through our challenges, fostering resilience and enhancing our ability to serve with clarity and compassion.

Whether it’s talking to a colleague, seeking professional counseling, or engaging in a wellness program like First Responder REBOOT, prioritizing your mental health is an investment to not only yourself and loved ones but also to the communities we serve. As a fellow first responder who has a deep understanding of the effects of trauma over time, I encourage you to prayerfully consider joining me in leading or participating in the 12-week program. Learn more at, or contact Scott McPherson at

Learn about other Mission First Alliance Members.

Matthew Thompson

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