It should come as no surprise to first responders and their families that stress can be a major factor in their lives. Studies show that pretty much all of these workers, whether EMTs, police officers, or firefighters, experience some levels of stress as a result of their jobs.
However, about 40 percent say that the stress is moderate or worse, and if left untreated these issues can even result in post-traumatic stress disorder. That’s particularly a risk factor for those working more than one first-responder job, such as firefighters who also work as EMTs. Fortunately, many businesses or government organizations that employ first responders also provide them with access to support groups, training, and mental health care that can help them better deal with those concerns.
What else can be done?
There are also many groups that work with first responders and veterans – another big group of PTSD sufferers – to give them the chance to disconnect from the stresses of what they’ve had to deal with through their jobs. These include counseling, but also day trips, sports leagues, and even assistance in getting a service animal trained to help people cope with stress and PTSD.
Something to talk about
Of course, it’s not always easy for people to find someone they can talk to about these issues. For that reason, even those who feel they can’t reach out to friends, family, or co-workers can call specially designed crisis hotlines that will help connect those suffering from stress with the assistance they need.
The more help first responders can get when it comes to dealing with stress, the better off they and their loved ones will be. And fortunately, all it usually takes to find a rich array of resources in this regard is reaching out.