Answers to the most commonly asked questions about The Code Green Campaign. Read through our FAQ to see if your question has already been answered. Clicking on a question will expand the answer.

 


About Code Green

1. How can I contact Code Green?

You can contact us here via e-mail, or you can send us mail at:

The Code Green Campaign
PO Box 15365
Spokane Valley, WA 99215

We do have a phone number, but because we all work full time and can’t take calls at our other jobs we like to pre-arrange phone calls. We also are not a crisis helpline, and we don’t want people to share our phone number and give people the wrong impression. While we love to help people, we don’t want them getting our voicemail if someone isn’t available to talk..

2. Is Code Green a 501(c)(3) organization?

Yes! The Code Green Campaign has been granted tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service functioning as a public charity under section 501(c)(3). That means any donations made to Code Green after April 3rd, 2014 are tax deductible. Our Federal I.D. for donations is #46-5739098.

3. How can I donate to Code Green?

You can doante via Paypal by clicking here (you don’t have to have a Paypal account). You can also send a check or money order to the address listed in question 1 (but not cash!). We are also on Amazon Smile, and when you shop using Amazon Smile a small portion of your purchase will be donated to us every time you shop on Amazon.

You can also see if your employer uses Benevity to allow you to automatically deduct a set amount from your paycheck each month and have it donated to us.

4. Is Code Green just for EMS?

No! Absolutely not. While Code Green was founded by people who currently work in EMS, the campaign is for all kinds of responders, including EMTs, Paramedics, firefighters, police officers, flight nurses, critical care teams, wildland firefighters, search & rescue and anyone else we’re forgetting. While we all do different jobs, we all end up being exposed to the same types of trauma and stressors that can lead to mental health problems. As far as we are concerned we are all one big family and we are in this together.

5. How is the money donated to Code Green used?

The money donated to Code Green goes to many different things. Some of the ways donations have been used or ways we are planning to use them are:

          • The development of a CECBEMS accredited continuing education class.
          • Website hosting and upkeep.
          • Operating expenses like financial software, office supplies, and business cards.
          • Professional services such as an accountant and a lawyer.
          • Merchandise and shipping supplies (current merchandise sales currently cover these costs, although the initial purchases were made with donations).
          • Education and training for the board of directors for things like peer counseling and suicide prevention.
          • Fees such as our 501(c)(3) application, business licenses, trademark application, etc.
          • Travel expenses for speaking and outreach events.

Because we are such a new organization many of our costs have been related to our start-up, such as the 501(c)(3) application (which we don’t have to pay for again). As we become more established and get fees like that out of the way we will start using donations for things like scholarships to people and agencies who want to do mental health training, developing more educational courses, and having a presence at EMS conferences.

6. I submitted my story ages ago, how come I haven't seen it yet?

There are a couple reasons you may not have seen your story yet. We usually publish stories every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and share them via our website, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr pages. We do not share stories in the order they are received to help keep the stories anonymous. Some months we receive far more stories than we could possibly share, so even if we did publish them in order, we would still be a couple months behind.

It is also possible that your story was shared and because of how Facebook filters posts you didn’t see it. Unfortunately, Facebook does not share every post we make with every person who follows our page. You can look through the story archive to see if it is there.

We promise that we will share every story submitted to us at some point. We know it can be frustrating waiting for your story to post, and we apologize for any anxiety the wait may cause.

7. Why is Code Green's mascot a goat?

Our mascot is a goat because we felt goats were the perfect personification of most first responders….hard headed and will eat anything. Or we might have thought she was super adorable. Or both. You decide.

8. I'm putting together a project and want to use Code Green's name and/or logo, can I do this?

It depends on the project. Our name and logo are trademarked and protected. We allow our name and logo to be used for relevant projects as long as there is no claim that Code Green is sponsoring an event or otherwise officially involved. For example, if you want to host a 5k for Code Green you can’t name it “The Code Green 5k”, but you can call it something like “5k for First Responder Mental Health” and say “Proceeds of the 5k will be donated to The Code Green Campaign” with our logo next to our name.

We do want to know what you’re planing on doing before you use our name and/or logo. Before we give approval, we like to have the following information:

1. Who you are and what the project is.
2. If you are raising any money, and where the money is going.
3. How you would be using our name and/or logo.

Please use our contact form to send your request to the admins, and we will get back to you as soon as we can (it may be a couple of days). Once the use has been approved we can provide high quality vector files of our logo, rather than people using the low quality ones available on Facebook and elsewhere.

9. What is RCW 43.101.425?

RCW 43.101.425 refers to section 43.101.425 of the Revised Code of Washington. RCW 43.101.425 states:

Communications to crisis referral services — Confidentiality of communications and records.

(1) All communications to crisis referral services by employees and volunteers of law enforcement, correctional, firefighting, and emergency services agencies, and all records related to the communications, shall be confidential. Crisis referral services include all public or private organizations that advise employees and volunteers of such agencies about sources of consultation and treatment for personal problems including mental health issues, chemical dependency, domestic violence, gambling, financial problems, and other personal crises.

(2) A crisis referral service may reveal information related to crisis referral services to prevent reasonably certain death, substantial bodily harm, or commission of a crime.

[2009 c 19 § 2.]

In plain English this means that if you contact Code Green for help we can not release any records of that communication for any reason, unless it is to prevent death, bodily harm, or a crime. Because Code Green is based in Washington state this law always applies to us, even if the person contacting us for help is in another state.

 

I want to help!

1. Do you have chapters I can get involved with?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: We’ve elected not to have chapters at this time. Because Code Green is a grassroots organization we believe that individuals working to spread our mission can accomplish as much, if not more, than chapters could. Getting involved with Code Green is really about making the conscious decision to advocate for improved mental health whenever you can, which is something that we have to do as individuals and not something a chapter can accomplish.

You don’t have to be a member of a chapter to speak up when you hear people disparaging psych patients or saying things like “suck it up”. You don’t have to be a member of a chapter to let people know that you are someone they can come to and talk to if they need help. You don’t have to be a member of a chapter to keep our resource cards or brochures on hand to give to people. You can encourage your agency to make sure information about how to access mental health resources is readily available to everyone. You can volunteer to find some resources in your area, or write a proposal for your department to push them into developing a program. There are so many things that you can do right now to help the cause without the bureaucracy that chapters create.  

Another thing to consider is that chapters take a lot of time, effort, and money to organize and support. Code Green is run by volunteers, and we don’t have the administrative or financial resources to run them right now.

That all being said, we are working on developing Code Green administered Peer Support teams, which is the most common purpose people have when they ask us about starting a chapter in their area. This is a developing program that is in its early stages and it will probably be late 2018/early 2019 before it moves beyond the beta/testing period.

2.Do you have a list of things I can do to help?

Yes we do!. Because Code Green is mostly a virtual campaign we unfortunately don’t have a lot of “hands on” projects for people to help with. However, that doesn’t mean that that you can’t help! The single biggest thing that anyone can do to help is to get our name out there and bring awareness to the high rate of mental health issue in first responders.

Here are some suggestions for other things you can do to help:
  • If you know about any mental health resources, counselors, therapists, etc that you would recommend for first responders let us know so we can add them to our resources page.
  • Host a fundraiser to help us set up a treatment scholarship in your area. Treatment scholarships are used to help people pay for mental health treatment.
  • Use our hashtags #savingpublicsafety and #biggerthanbroken on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • If you see mental health being discussed on one of the Facebook pages for first responders tag The Code Green Campaign by typing @The Code Green Campaign in your post. We will get an alert that you tagged us and we will join the discussion.
  • If you see a discussion on Reddit about mental health in first responders tag or PM /u/codegreencampaign to let us know about it.
  • If your agency uses social media ask them to share our website or social media pages.
  • Write a letter to your state and congressional representative(s). There are many politicians that are supportive of mental health issues and/or first responders. The more they hear about the problem the easier it will be to bring attention at the national level. You can find information on how to contact your state representatives here, and how to contact your congressional representatives here.
  • Write a letter to the editor to JEMS, EMSWorld, or any other trade publication. There are a lot of people who don’t use social media and it is important to reach them too!
  • If you see an interesting blog, article, picture, video, etc you would like to see shared on our Facebook page let us know! You can either PM us a link on Facebook or use our Contact Us form to submit it.
  • Check out our Education page and learn how to help yourself and your peers! There are many classes and training opportunities available to give you the tools to take care of yourself and help someone in crisis.
3. How do I volunteer?

At this time we are not actively recruiting volunteers, however we do maintain a couple different lists of people who are willing/able to help and we do use those lists when something comes up. In order to get on a list please send us the following information:

– Your name
– Your location
– Your contact information
– Any professional qualifications/advanced degrees you have.
– What you’re interested in helping with/what you think you’d be best at.
– Any post volunteer experience
– Any special skill you have, such as Photoshop, web design, etc.

If you want to send a resume instead of typing all that information out we’re ok with that too. You can contact us here.

 

Do You Have…

1. ...chapters I can get involved with?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: We’ve elected not to have chapters at this time. Because Code Green is a grassroots organization we believe that individuals working to spread our mission can accomplish as much, if not more, than chapters could. Getting involved with Code Green is really about making the conscious decision to advocate for improved mental health whenever you can, which is something that we have to do as individuals and not something a chapter can accomplish.

You don’t have to be a member of a chapter to speak up when you hear people disparaging psych patients or saying things like “suck it up”. You don’t have to be a member of a chapter to let people know that you are someone they can come to and talk to if they need help. You don’t have to be a member of a chapter to keep our resource cards or brochures on hand to give to people. You can encourage your agency to make sure information about how to access mental health resources is readily available to everyone. You can volunteer to find some resources in your area, or write a proposal for your department to push them into developing a program. There are so many things that you can do right now to help the cause without the bureaucracy that chapters create.  

Another thing to consider is that chapters take a lot of time, effort, and money to organize and support. Code Green is run by volunteers, and we don’t have the administrative or financial resources to run them right now.

That all being said, we are working on developing Code Green administered Peer Support teams, which is the most common purpose people have when they ask us about starting a chapter in their area. This is a developing program that is in its early stages and it will probably be late 2018/early 2019 before it moves beyond the beta/testing period.

2. ...Peer Support Teams?

As of 2016 we are working on developing Code Green administered Peer Support teams. However, this is a developing program that is in its early stages and it will probably be late 2018/early 2019 before it moves beyond the beta/testing period. During the roll-out phase the plan is to run a limited number of teams in order to work out the kinks. The

2. ...any brochures/posters/handouts I could give people?

Yes! You can find our resource posters, resource cards, and brochures in our online store here. If you would like to order any of these items in bulk please contact us to make arrangements.

3. ...any studies or research that can help me with my project on first responders and stress/suicide/PTSD?

Yes/no, kinda, maybe, sorta..is.

The study situation is hit-or-miss depending on exactly what you are looking for. There have not been a lot of high quality studies looking at mental health in US based non-police first responders who were not involved with 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina. There is more data available looking at non-US responders, police, and first responders involved with major events.

We don’t have permission to release some of the data we have. There is other data that has only been published in Portuguese. Some of the studies have methodological flaws that devalue the data gathered. The situation is not pretty.

That being said, here is what we can give you. All of this information is use at your own risk. Please do not message us asking for full-text articles, that is a copyright quagmire we don’t want to get in the middle of.

4. ...t-shirts/bracelets/hats/patches/stickers/beer koozies for sale?

Yes! Please check out our online store to see what items we have available. If you don’t find what you are looking for check back frequently as we will always be adding and redesigning items. If you have a suggestion for something you think we should carry please let us know.

 

Merchandise/Store

1. Do you have t-shirts/bracelets/hats/patches/stickers/beer koozies for sale?

Yes! Please check out our online store to see what items we have available. If you don’t find what you are looking for check back frequently as we will always be adding and redesigning items. If you have a suggestion for something you think we should carry please let us know.

2. I'm trying to place an order and I'm getting an error that says 'validation email needed'.

When checking out there is a blank box under the box marked “email”. Please make sure you have the same email address in both boxes. We have no idea why the label for the second box doesn’t show up, and we apologize for any confusion this causes.

3. I haven't received shipping confirmation and/or tracking information.

Orders placed in the online store can take 1-2 weeks to ship. Our store is staffed by volunteers and consequently work/life/school can get in the way of getting them processed. We try to fill orders on Tuesdays and Fridays, but that doesn’t always happen. If it has been more than 2 weeks since you placed your order please contact us here and we can let you know what the status is.

You should receive 2 emails, one confirming your order has been completed and a second one from Paypal with your tracking information. It is possible that one or both of these emails could end up in your junk/spam folder so if you haven’t received them please check there before contacting us.

4. I saw this really awesome Code Green word cloud shirt, where can I get one?.

The first Code Green word cloud shirt was a limited edition printed in 2014 as part of a fundraiser. Because it was a limited edition, the shirt is no longer available. We are not planning on printing more of that exact design. However we do have plans to do updated versions of the shirt over the years, so keep an eye on our social media for an announcement.