INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two retired professional athletes are giving police and firefighters a new way to access mental health services.
Former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jim Sorgi and former St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Joey Vandever are the co-owners of ProTeam Tactical Performance.
The company, which has been offered physical therapy to local police officers and firefighters since 2018, recently announced the launch of a new behavioral health platform called SHIELD.
SHIELD is a confidential and HIPAA-compliant app and website that allows users to self-evaluate for depression, anxiety, PTSD, stress, and other issues through the use of questionnaires.
The platform then provides users resources they need.
“Everything that these men and women see over the course of their careers. The car accidents, the fires, the dead bodies–you name it–it all kind of adds to that bucket,” Sorgi said. “The old way of thinking about is that I’m going to bury everything down deep, but then the problem with that though when it explodes out it can be too late at times.”
Vandever added, “What we want to do is give the departments and the unions a snapshot of where they fall collectively or holistically at that moment in time, so they can see if it’s the winter time and depression, anxiety, or stress gets spiked, then they can actually intervene.”
Sorgi and Vandever say the feedback they’ve received so far has been positive and the launch of SHIELD has been tremendously successful. They add that, although they are focusing on public safety, the SHIELD model can be used by people in any industry.