Public safety tech proactively spots first responders who may need mental health care

Versaterm's purchase of Mindbase combines software suites designed to proactively connect support groups to first responders exposed to stressful situations.
cop in NYC
(Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

The public safety software company Versaterm this month announced an acquisition that will allow it to add new technology that helps connect first responders with mental health resources.

Versaterm, which provides software for a range of public safety functions, from records management to computer-aided dispatch, on May 1 announced it had acquired Mindbase, which uses call-response data to determine when first responders, like police officers or fire fighters, are most likely to need mental-health interventions, such as after responding to especially traumatic calls or when they’ve been working long shifts.

Rohan Galloway-Dawkins, Versaterm’s chief product officer, told StateScoop that some of the company’s existing health and wellbeing features already included early identification alerts that signal when first responders may be in need, such as after a series of traumatic calls. Another existing feature uses historical records data to alert the potential need for an intervention. The system considers if a first responder has a personal or family history of a particular type of incident that could trigger a stressful reaction, Galloway-Dawkins said.

While Versaterm’s existing features provided context for identifying when supports may have been necessary, they didn’t proactively connect first responders to peer support groups. Mindbase founder Corey Roberts told StateScoop his technology does that by taking the data collected by computer-aided dispatch systems and “flip[s] it around to help the helper.”


“They just keep moving to shift to shift to shift, doing their job like they think they’re supposed to do. So we created a program that drives a proactive reach out from their own,” Roberts said. “So we take the [computer-aided dispatch, records management system] data, we look at the difficult incidents … and we can take that data and then create proactive reach-out.”

Certain members of law enforcement agencies or dispatch centers are selected to join Mindbase’s peer-support groups, which conduct outreach. Roberts said members are selected because they are resilient and exhibit the best behaviors within their departments. Support group members receive notifications that other members may need to be checked in on, such as after a series of tough calls.

Roberts said Mindbase’s alerts are based on the severity of calls, but the system recommends that every employee is checked regularly.

“Because life is difficult for everyone, and so we recommend to our agencies that it becomes a normal thing that every employee has a recent check in date,” he said.

The practice of checking in on all responders is partially to maintain the confidentiality of those who receive more check-ins. Roberts said peer support data is also anonymized to protect privacy.


“We literally don’t have it,” he said. “It’s completely disconnected in the system so that for confidentiality’s sake, they can go, they can talk in confidence with a peer support person and none of that is attached to their name other than that check-in date.”

Keely Quinlan

Written by Keely Quinlan

Keely Quinlan reports on privacy and digital government for StateScoop. She was an investigative news reporter with Clarksville Now in Tennessee, where she resides, and her coverage included local crimes, courts, public education and public health. Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Stereogum and other outlets. She earned her bachelor’s in journalism and master’s in social and cultural analysis from New York University.

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