Your health as a provider is a priority for your organization. When you understand cumulative stress disorder you can show your colleagues how much they are valued and how much you care about this growing epidemic.
Thoughts of trying to make everyone happy during the holidays while making ends meet and not working oneself to death can cause major holiday stress. I’m certain many of us have this in the back of our minds as the holiday season approaches.
It’s important to recognize that the constant stress and pressure of bad calls can build over time, weigh us down and cause problems for us down the road. How do we arm ourselves against first responder stress? The answer: self-care.
The difficulty with PTSD in first responders is that it’s hard to spot. It’s easy to hear about a mass casualty incident, an active shooter or any number of large-scale, high-visibility incidents and think, “Wow, someone should check on those providers.” But PTSD is different for everyone and people need help might not be getting it.
Empathy is a big part of our jobs, and we need to teach it to our students, our employees and each other. People need to feel that it’s OK to be empathetic and that it’s a natural part of the whole EMS picture.
Suicides are on the rise overall. In fact, I'd say we have a suicide epidemic. Statistics in a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shown a 30% increase in suicides since 1999, Additionally, it is now one of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. — surpassing homicide.
A veteran EMS provider discusses the tendency of those in the EMS profession to denigrate their own importance with the phrase, "I'm just a basic."
We talk about some ways to take care of your mental health.