First Responder Program

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Aurora First Responder Program Mission Statement:

To restore the mental well being of our First Responders by providing them with all the necessary tools needed to make a successful, healthy return to duty.

We will accomplish this by providing the highest level of care, utilizing specially trained staff, and offering a variety of evidence based treatment modalities that specifically address the unique needs of each individual.

Program Overview

Firefighter in silver suit in front of flames

For those who have dedicated their lives to protecting our communities and country, the normal everyday trials of daily service are now compounded with new challenges many First Responders may face as a result of repeated job stressors and co-occuring issues. Through the use or evidence based treatment modalities, Aurora San Diego is the proven leader in specialized outcome driven success for First Responders. Our specialized first responder program provides treatment services to all First Responders working through a myriad of issues including:

  • PTSD
  • Substance Abuse
  • Co-Occuring Disorders (PTSD/Substance Abuse)
  • Depression
  • Acute Stress DisorderPolice officer in black uniform looking at cars
  • Mood Disorders
  • Chronic Pain
  • Sexual Trauma

Program Highlights

  • Dedicated units for uniformed and First Responder personnel
  • Medical detoxification/Rehabilitation
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Trauma Education
  • Pain management program
  • Pet therapy and Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL)
  • Yoga & Mindfulness Stress Reduction
  • Physical fitness program
  • Single point of contact case manager for coordination of care
  • Assessments: PCL-5, PSQI, BDI II, Psychological Testing


We do this by offering a full spectrum of inpatient services in a warm, inviting atmosphere where first responders actively participate in their own treatment. The Aurora San Diego Campus is situated on 5 acres of beautiful grounds and provides a variety of amenities such as a gymnasium/basketball court, weight training and cardio equipment, tennis court and swimming pool.  Two units with a bed total of 40  within the hospital are dedicated to the care of all uniformed and First Responder personnel.  First Responders create a community within the hospital in which they all relate with, and provide support to one another while receiving treatment.

Our highly trained staff members have received specialized training from subject matter experts, thought leaders and creators of evidence based treatments and continue to participate in national conferences on the treatment of operational stress.

All First Responders and referring agencies work with one identified case manager who coordinates all aspects of care.  The First Responder Case Manager is the conduit for communication with the referring agency and chain of command to develop an uninterrupted transition of care back to duty.

Our ultimate goal is to provide a safe and nurturing environment where our First Responders can begin their road to recovery.

Help is just a phone call away. Aurora is where healing starts and the road to recovery begins.

We accept admissions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information please contact:

Dr. April Barnett, Psy.D at: (858) 675-4295  (office) or (858) 349-8023 (cell)