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Season 1: Behind the Frontline: Supporting the Families of Frontline Staff and First Responders

This podcast was created for families and intimate partners of frontline staff and first responders. Dr. Trudy Gilbert-Eliot, author of Healing Secondary Trauma: Proven Strategies for Caregiver provides educational tips, stress management techniques, and ways to build resilience within the family. Family members of first responders and frontline staff also share their stories highlighting the multi-dimensional nature of what it’s like to be an intimate partner of a first responder. This podcast was developed in collaboration with the Center for Application & Substance Abuse Technologies at the University of Nevada, Reno, the Division of Public and Behavioral Health with funding provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through cooperative support from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Agency.

Co-Hosts: Daniel Fred & Heather Haslem

Clinical Expert: Dr. Trudy Gilbert Eliot

Trudy Gilbert-Eliot, PhD, LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist in Las Vegas, Nevada. She received her master of science from California State University, Chico, and her PhD from Capella University in Minnesota. She specializes in working with first responders and is a contractor with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. She has worked with trauma survivors throughout her 25-year old career, including abused children, survivors of domestic violence, psychiatric patients, persons living with substance use disorder, and most recently military personnel, veterans and first responders. She has also provided psychological support for those impacted by critical incidents, including mass shootings, hostage situations, suicides, and armed robberies. Currently in private practice, she supervises other marriage and family therapists and alcohol and drug counselors and teaches workshops for the University of Nevada, Reno.

S1 E0: Introduction to CASAT Conversations

In this episode, you will hear a brief introduction from our hosts, as well as what to expect in season 1.

S1 E1: Resilience and the Frontline Staff / First Responder Family

Within this episode Dr. Trudy Gilbert-Eliot introduces us to resilience, emotional intelligence and what it takes to be a resilient family.

S1 E2: Sleep, Shift Work, and Being On Call

Within this episode, Dr. Trudy Gilbert-Eliot discusses the importance of sleep on health, along with strategies for ensuring good sleep hygiene in the midst of shift work, and spouses being on call.

S1 E3: You Are Not Alone

Within this episode, Jed (a Fire Captain) and Jen (an Emergency Physician) join us as a unique couple who are both supporting family members and are personally first responder front line staff. They share with us what they have learned throughout their careers to support their family’s wellbeing.

S1 E4: Peer Support: Don’t Make It Weird

Within this episode, Derek Reid (founder of the Nevada Peer Support Network, and Battalion Chief Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue) joins us to discuss resources available in Nevada, the value of peer support, and a vision for the future of how to support first responders.

S1 E5: Self-Care and Connection for Frontline Staff / First Responder Families

Within this episode, Dr. Trudy Gilbert-Eliot talks to us about both foundational and targeted self-care strategies. She discusses multiple practices that can implement into your life to improve your self-care routine.

S1 E6: Critical Care For Yourself

Within this episode, Amanda (an ICU nurse, and wife of a police officer) shares with us how self-care is a critical tool she uses to deal with life’s challenges.

S1 E7: Keeping Your Relationship Strong Under Pressure

Within this episode, Dr. Trudy Gilbert-Eliot shares many skills to help strengthen your relationship.

S1 E8: The Power of Communication

Within this episode, Melissa (an educator and police officer wife) illustrates how working on communication has supported her relationship, and positively impacted her family.

S1 E9: Communicating about work: The Do’s and Don’t’s

Within this episode, Dr. Trudy Gilbert-Eliot walks us through the benefits and drawbacks of disclosing work details. She gives tips for how to set boundaries and communicate about work effectively.

S1 E10: Coping With Your Fears: Safety and Frontline Staff & First Responders in the News

Within this episode, Dr. Trudy Gilbert-Eliot reviews tactics for dealing with worry and fears about a family members safety when at work.

S1 E11: The Impact of the News and PTSD on the Family Unit

Within this episode, Brittany (stay-at-home mom of three, and a police officer wife) discloses the impact of how the way police officers are portrayed in the media have a significant impact on the family.

S1 E12: PTSD and Secondary Trauma: What to Notice with Dr. Trudy

Within this episode, Dr. Trudy Gilbert-Eliot explains what signs and symptoms to look for in your first responder/front line staff family member, and resources for PTSD and secondary trauma.

S1 E13: How to Support a Family Member with PTSD

Within this episode, Dr. Trudy Gilbert-Eliot shares ways on how to support a loved one who has experienced PTSD.

S1 E14: The Power of Community

Within this episode, Mariah (a wife of a firefighter, and school teacher) shares how creating community beyond the family has supported her and her family. She believes in the power of creating a community of support, and does that through her work as the founder of the Northern Nevada Fire Wives.

Disclaimer: This podcast is for educational purposes only. Any advice offered on the podcast is an educational context and is not intended as direct medical advice, nor as a replacement for it. If you are experiencing a medical or life emergency, please call 911. If you are experiencing a crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273 – 8255.  If you are experiencing stress, and would like professional help please contact your insurance company to identify a therapist in your area or contact the organization you work for and ask about an employee assistance program.

This podcast has been brought to you by the CASAT Podcast Network located within the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies at the University of Nevada, Reno. For more podcast information and resources visit

logoFunding for the Nevada Resilience Project was provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration.

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