The Behavioral Health section of the Austin Public Safety Wellness Center is focused on promoting and preserving the mental and emotional well-being of employees within Austin's first responder communities such as the Austin Fire Department, Austin Police Department, and Austin-Travis County EMS. Free and confidential behavioral health resources are available to these employees and their dependent family members. Services available include behavioral health consultation, referrals, mental health counseling, Peer Support, and Chaplaincy.  

We Are Here To Help

AFD & ATCEMS Staff Psychologists

Marc Kruse, Ph.D.: Phone: (512) 974-0225

Celesta Harris, Ph.D.: Phone: (512) 974-5482

Location: 517 S. Pleasant Valley, Austin, Texas 78741

APD Staff Psychologists

Carol Logan, Ph.D.: Phone: 512-974-5083

David Duran, Ph.D.: Phone: 512-974-5421

Peer Support Team

Peer Support Team members are employees within their respective agency who have received specialized training to aid their fellow first responders in dealing with significant life issues and/or potentially traumatic events. PST members are available to be a listening ear and/or to facilitate to connection to local, regional, state and national behavioral health resources. 

Austin Fire Department Peer Support: Please dial 1-888-423-3435 (1-888-4-AFD-HELP) and they will return your call.

Austin-Travis County EMS Peer Support: 855-321-3332

Austin Police Department Peer Support: 512-974-8283


Chaplains serve the spiritual and emotional needs of others through the work of pastoral care. They perform wedding or funeral ceremonies, administer communion, deliver spiritual messages, offer prayer at public meetings, and provide regular counseling. Chaplains also meet the needs of the moment, usually through listening and prayer.

In the event of tragedy, personal crisis, or a season of change, chaplains provide the pastoral care needed to help and support individuals. Consequently, chaplains work in a number of environments where pastoral care is needed.

AFD Chaplain hotline: Please dial 1-888-367-1119 and a Chaplain will return your call.

APD Chaplain support: 512-974-8283

CoA Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

ComPsych provides short-term confidential counseling to help you and members of your household deal with life's stresses. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at no cost to you. For assistance call 866-586-1456 or visit Web ID:


Will my supervisor know that I visited with a staff psychologist, peer support team member or chaplain?

No. We do not disclose any information about your appointments or sessions with your chain of command or anyone else, unless we have your consent to do so. Under certain circumstances, there are limits to when we might ethically and legally have to report information reported in session, i.e. if you report that you are a danger to yourself or others, if a child (under 18), dependent adult (18-64 who has mental or physical limitations that restrict his/her ability to carry out normal activities), or the elderly (over age 65) is being physically abused, sexually abused, neglected and/or exploited, if you are in need of emergency medical/psychiatric services, and if your medical records, including mental health records, are subject to subpoena by a court of law for either criminal or civil proceedings.

Might I be pulled from duty if I come to see you?

No, not necessarily. Our mission is to help you do your job as best as you can. We are not looking to pull you from your job just because you have some emotional or mental health issues you are working through. Overall, we want Austin's first responders to be healthy and safe, and we want the public being served to be safe as well. So, should an issue arise that might compromise either of those we will discuss it with you and collaborate on the best course of action.

Can my partner / spouse / family member(s) come see you?

Yes. As a City of Austin public safety employee, you and your dependent family members (spouses, romantic partners, and children; also covers biological, adopted, and step-children) are eligible to receive services at no cost. You do not have to be present for your family members to receive services.

I've never participated in therapy before, what can I expect?

Generally, the initial session for therapy consists of you providing an overview of what brings you in for the appointment. The therapist is likely to ask some questions to get an overall understanding of your history, background, presenting problem, and other factors that might be impacting you. You and the therapist will then discuss potential treatment options moving forward, which could include evidence-based therapeutic interventions and/or treatment options. In-person and virtual therapy options are available. 

Do I have to pay?

No. As a City of Austin public safety employee, you and your family (not limited to spouses, romantic partners, and children – biological, adopted, and step-children) are eligible to receive services at no-cost.

Is my therapy session going to be like my pre-hire psychological interviews?

No. Therapy sessions and pre-hire psychological interviews are completely different processes and serve different purposes. The pre-hire psychological interviews are a part of the hiring process and are designed to assess the fit of the applicant with the job. Therapy sessions are to help individuals who have been hired (and are already in their positions) be as successful as they can while doing their job. Therapy can be an ongoing process, whereas pre-hire psychological interviews are a one-time step in the hiring process.

Do I have to see you or can I see my own provider?

It is not a requirement that you see anyone at the Wellness Center. You are free to choose your own provider in the community if that works for you. You are welcome to contact a staff psychologist for community referral options, or you can contact your insurance provider to get a listing of providers in your area. 

If I want to change providers, can I?

Therapy is completely voluntary. If at any time you feel that therapy is not working for you or that you are not getting what you need from a particular individual, you are completely free to choose to work with someone else either within Wellness or the community. 

How many sessions can I have with you?

There is no general session limit. The number of sessions you attend will be based on the goals that you will be working on together with your therapist.