What happens to our Police Officers, Paramedics and Firefighters as their careers progress? So many become cynical, negative and sadly, suicidal. Why?
It’s really no mystery.
They started their careers bright eyed and keen and all understood the risks…or did they? They knew that their jobs put them in peril and that serious bodily harm or death were possibilities, but they trained to prevent such tragedies.
HOWEVER, how many of there rookies knew that there was a likelihood that they would suffer a mental injury? What training did they get to prevent this likelihood? Until very recently the answer to these questions was the same… NONE. They were expected to experience horrific scenes and take significant risks, then just shrug them all off. Sadly, each one of these events chipped away at many of them and little by little changed them - damaged them; sometimes irreparably.
First Responder recruits have always trained for dangerous possibilities but this Mental Injury likelihood was in an enormous blind spot. Today there is no reason for ignorance of any sort when it comes to PTSD ,or other Mental Injuries, in the world of First Responders (or anywhere). Recognizing the hazards before they face them will help; managing them head on as they come is their emergency defence. Eliminate the stigma of Mental Injury and Mental Illness and open up the dialogue.
We Are S.T.I.G.M.A.
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