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PTSD Awareness Month: Mental health support resources for first responders in the US

June 10, 2024

PTSD: The impact of trauma on volunteer first responders

Volunteer first responders often face traumatic events that can significantly impact their mental health.

June is PTSD Awareness Month, highlighting the importance of recognizing post-traumatic stress symptoms among first responders.

First responders are encouraged to become familiar with the signs of PTSD and the available mental health resources.

The NVFC provides several resources to support first responders.

These include a webinar on moral injury, a video on behavioural health, a course on addressing substance abuse and PTSD, an article on mental health, a directory of behavioural health professionals, and a helpline.

These resources aim to help first responders manage their mental health effectively.

Webinar and video resources

The NVFC is hosting a webinar titled “Moral Injury – Peeling Back the Layers of PTSD” on June 11.

Sponsored by ESO, the webinar will explore how moral distress and survivor guilt impact first responders’ mental well-being and provide strategies to address these challenges.

Additionally, the NVFC offers a video titled “Emergency Responder Behavioral Health – Understand the Risks and Know the Signs”.

This video highlights the warning signs of mental health issues that first responders should watch for.

These educational tools are designed to increase awareness and provide practical advice for managing mental health.

Courses and articles on mental health

The NVFC offers a course on “Addressing Substance Abuse, PTSD, and Other Concerns in the Fire Service”.

Available in the NVFC Virtual Classroom, this course examines PTSD, common types of substance abuse in the fire service, and the relationship between PTSD and substance abuse.

It also offers guidance on how to seek help through the NVFC’s Share the Load Program.

An article by NVFC board member Dick Brown, titled “I’m Not Fine and Neither Are You – Mental Health and The Fire Service”, discusses the importance of recognizing the need for help and the various support avenues available.

Brown shares his personal experience with PTSD, offering valuable insights for fellow first responders.

Additional resources for support

The NVFC provides an online Directory of Behavioral Health Professionals, listing local providers ready to assist firefighters, EMS providers, rescue workers, dispatchers, and their families.

This directory ensures that first responders can easily find professional help when needed.

Furthermore, NVFC members and their household families have access to the First Responder Helpline, available 24/7 for any behavioural health issue or work-life stress.

The Share the Load Program also offers additional resources, training, and tools to support responder mental and behavioural health.

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