Mental Health

What’s the atmosphere in your firehouse?

How does one of those Alpha males "open their soul" to their comrades who earlier in the day or the previous shift were "fighting" with them for dominance that day? How does a more introverted male or a woman or a male of color get the understanding ear that they seek as they try to deal with a particularly stressful incident or post-traumatic stress in general?

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Under the Uniform

Fire Prevention Officer and PTSD suffer/survivor, Nathalie Michaud, continues to share the story of her journey and daily struggles to help break down the barriers and stigma surrounding firefighters and behavioral health issues.

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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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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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Who do you see at night?

That’s the only one that affected me in that way, and to this day, I have no idea why. There have been others that were worse calls, but I never had an issue afterward. It didn’t really bother me at the time, it was more of a, “Really? Why? Geez. Stop.”

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

Firefighter mental health

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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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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