Someone has to respond.
First responders witness the horrors of life every single day; the things that common people don’t even want to hear about on the news. You can justify that they get paid well, have great benefits, or don’t work enough, but what they also take home are nightmares, guilt, and depression.
First responders are largely ignored when these horrors get too much. Mental health issues are taboo enough in the general public; they are completely unspoken demons in the realm of emergency services.
One of my crew brought this initiative to my attention. It has been featured on the other social networks, but not a word on Google+. I’m going to try and change that.
There have been 24 known first responder suicides in the last six months in Canada. Police, Firefighters, Paramedics, Search and Rescue, and many volunteer support agencies are all affected and this needs to change. Insurance companies do not recognize clearly diagnosed conditions as essential, and too often find a way not to assist the people affected. The public looks away from a uniformed professional that is obviously overwhelmed. The services don’t want to admit that there are weaklings on their staff. The stigma is everywhere. Can we stop it?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Do you support the men and women that suit up to face what the public doesn’t want to see?
(This is not just a Canada issue. If emergency services don’t support each other, who will?)