Firefighter Stress

Warriors Heart and What They’re Doing for Residential Treatment for Addiction and Post-Traumatic Stress

Warriors Heart (WH) is the for-profit residential treatment facility that provides “cutting edge” treatment for military personnel (active, retired, and disabled), law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel (hereafter referred to as clients) to help them overcome their addiction to drugs or alcohol and the effects of post-traumatic stress. As I write this, WH is still the only facility of its type in the U.S.

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“We’ll Teach You a Lesson You’ll Never Forget”: The Rape of a Woman Firefighter

I was on duty with my team—we were a team of five, four firefighters and an officer—and rest time came about, and I went in my dorm to get some sleep. But that didn’t go as planned. My “team” walked in my dorm room. I thought I missed my pager or something, and before I could say a word, I had a hand over my mouth warning me to shut the fuck up or it would get ugly.

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How I “Got” PTSD

I "got" trained to do what is needed to save lives. I didn't "get" PTSD. I had to do my job in situations where you cry just hearing about the "how horrible it must have been." I'm healing and adapting from PTSD. My human side just got tired. That's all.

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What the Fire Service Needs from Mental Health Professionals and Vice Versa

Warriors Heart

The effects of post-traumatic stress (PTS) and job-related stress (because PTS is not the only source of stress) on firefighters and EMS personnel is one of biggest challenges facing individuals and their departments. And it’s a challenge for which many of those individuals and their departments are ill-equipped to handle on their own. But that doesn’t mean the challenges can’t be overcome. It’s just going to take a new way of thinking.

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PTSD – The Changes No One Told You About

This whole PTSD thing is more than what any shrink could possibly tell us. Seriously. They all know the basics of it, the science of it, the consequences and more of it. Hey! They even made a nice medical chart, like a checklist of symptoms to be able to diagnose this injury… but what the hell do they do with us after? Do they really get it?

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3 Giant Steps for First Responder Mental Health Issues

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Too many firefighters and EMS providers still adhere to a mind-set that mental health issues are something that happens to other people, but not them. Because to believe otherwise requires them to admit their own human frailties. They rely on this sense of denial about the realities of mental health risks as a “shield”, but it’s a “paper shield” at best.

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Rescuer Addiction: Another Voice

I often use to call the struggle with weakness and hardship the “thing you didn’t talk about.” It was a sign of weakness to share with co workers my struggle with nightmares from traumatic rescue attempts, drinking too much, or severe anxiety attacks. We were the problem solvers not problem "havers."

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Catching up with a PTSD Sufferer and Survivor

Treating and recovering from a brain that's been injured through post traumatic stress (PTS) or PTSD is unlike that for a physical injury that's visible to the world. Former firefighter and PTSD sufferer/survivor Nathalie Michaud writes about here continuing journey.

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Becoming Proactive on Firefighter Mental Health Challenges

If we’re to be successful in becoming more proactive in our efforts to protect our people from the emotional toll that our profession can take on firefighter mental health, shouldn’t we be taking a good hard look at the one place that they should feel safe, secure, and respected, the fire station?

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