First Responders Dealing with Mental Health & Addiction – Treatment

By Nick Roshdieh – First Responder & Family Wellness

First responders experience daily stress and trauma, which can increase their chances of developing an addiction or mental health disorder. Even with the specialty training they receive, the constant exposure to horrible images of destruction, fire, injuries, violence and death can take its toll.

While they bear the immense responsibility of saving lives, at times, they might be too late. Sometimes death has already occurred, as in the case of a reported homicide. Besides law enforcement, other first responders include paramedics and firefighters, combat veterans, park rangers, corrections officers, emergency medical technicians (EMT’s), dispatchers and other rescue workers.

Often, the images and situations they encounter during their day-to-day jobs can lead to an array of trauma related disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress disorder and other co-occurring disorders.

Continue reading “First Responders Dealing with Mental Health & Addiction – Treatment”

Turn a Blind Eye or Fire the First Responder???

By Vanessa Stapleton – President Armor Up West Virginia

Why is it that when a first responder is taken over by trauma, PTSD, addiction, or otherwise, the choice becomes to either turn a blind eye or end their career? Why are those the only options? Listen carefully, those are NOT the only options. Who decided those were the only avenues to take? Why do we fire them and send them spiraling further into a disaster that we created to begin with by not offering proper mental health treatment of those we have assigned to handle trauma every single day? Who decided that was acceptable?

Continue reading “Turn a Blind Eye or Fire the First Responder???”

Managing #1stresponder PTSD

First Responders face dangerous and traumatic events on a daily basis.  There is no way to know or predict which event could affect a first responder negatively enough to cause post-traumatic stress disorder.

Unfortunately, in a culture of bravery and pride, asking for help can be seen as weakness and many do not seek the help they need.  They can be left to deal with PTSD on their own and revisit difficult and negative emotions over and over again. First Responders can feel like they are trapped in a painful past.

Continue reading “Managing #1stresponder PTSD”