A new study on the stress faced by first responders brings some shocking and eye opening results.
“We found that 85% of the first responders are experiencing mental health symptoms” said Dr. Samantha Dutton at the University of Phoenix, adding “One-third have a diagnosis of a mental health disorder such as depression or PTSD.”
Dutton said the conditions of the jobs themselves make the risk that much greater for police officers, firefighters and paramedics.
“Being on call, long and irregular work hours… just experiencing traumatic events–either one or many over the course of their career” Dutton said in describing those risk factors.
Researchers also pointed to a perception among first responders that those who reach out for help are considered weak–and may be passed over for promotions.
“We found that half were participating in pre-exposure training prior to events–and half were offered support after the event. Great news for that half… bad news for the other half” Dutton said.