Sunday, Joni and I went up to Book Passage, in Corte Madera, for the launch of Ellen Kirschman's 1st novel, Burying Ben. Ellen has a very interesting background. She spent 30 years as a police psychologist. She has written 2 non-fiction books about her work and has a 3rd, in collaboration with 2 other professionals, coming out next month. Burying Ben, though, is her 1st novel. I haven't done a review of it yet, but I can tell you that I enjoyed it a lot. It is the story, not totally surprisingly, of a police psychologist (in this case, new to the job) dealing with a police suicide (NOT a spoiler - it happens very early on). Especially after seeing (and hearing) Ellen live yesterday, I am very excited about her appearing at Village House of Books on Thursday night, November 14. She is an interesting and engaging speaker and has a lot to say about her profession.
The other significant element to yesterday's launch centered around an organization called First Responder Support Network. I'll let their website explain what they do:
The First Responder Support Network (FRSN) mission is to provide treatment programs that promote recovery from stress and critical incidents for first responders and their families. The FRSN is a collaboration among emergency service peers (police, fire, corrections, dispatchers and emergency medical services), mental health clinicians, and chaplains who volunteer their time. We encourage you to contact us if you or someone you know is in need of some assistance.
This network is 1 of only 2 in the world! How great is that? And just to reiterate FRSN's website, everybody, without exception, is a volunteer. I didn't know about this organization before yesterday, but I'm glad I learned of it. In fact, the 2nd picture below is of Joel, who is the clinical director of FRSN.
FOR EMPHASIS: Get to VHofB on November 14. Ellen has written a very good novel about a very important subject - especially in light of 2 Oakland police suicides in the last 2 months.