Responder Mental Wellness Awareness

Monday, September 18
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Emergency responders face stressful and disturbing situations every day, including scenes of traumatic injury and death. Exposure to these critical incidents puts emergency responders at high risk for:

• Post-traumatic symptoms (sleep problems, flashbacks, heightened reactivity)
• Anxiety and depression
• Substance abuse and addiction
• Strained social relationships and divorce
• A decreased ability to perform duties
• Suicide

The CDC estimates that protective service workers have a suicide rate of 30.5 per 100,000 people -  nearly double that of the national average. Far more emergency responders die by suicide than deaths in the line of duty.

There are several efforts that encourage and support the mental wellness of emergency responders across the country. Training recruits, peers, and incumbent personnel in the importance of mental wellness is one such effort. Integrating these topics into training at the beginning of an emergency responder's career and continuing this focus throughout a career helps  providers develop and maintain resilience as they encounter difficult calls, fosters their ability to recognize and help themselves or their co-workers who may be struggling, and builds the foundation for a long and healthy career."