First responders are typically the first on-scene to contain and intervene in dangerous, stressful, and emotionally and physically challenging traumas. Our police, fire, and other first responders wear multiple hats as they perform their duty and provide comfort and safety to victims and those suffering personal devastation and loss. This intervention can be acutely and chronically taxing and can result in serious mental and physical health consequences, as well as contributing to burnout.
As the result of their direct experience of trauma and the witnessing of others’ response to trauma, our first responders are also placed at increased risk of serious consequences, let alone the unacceptable rate of suicide and suicidal ideation amongst our heroes. Our first responders suffer relatively higher numbers of physical injury, disability, and are exposed to unique hazards and trauma as they respond to both human-caused and natural disasters. The frequency of calls for police, fire, and EMS often doesn’t provide for physical and/or emotional recovery between calls, and the combination of these factors can lead to increased risk of:
- Anxiety disorders including Post-Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD)
- Substance abuse and dependence
- Divorce and relationship distress
- Sleep disorders
- Work injury and disability due to the physical strains of a job and/or the impact of depression/anxiety on attention, concentration, and sleep disorders
- Potential for early resignation
Faust Psychological Services provides for a confidential and caring environment for provision of individual, couples, and family intervention to first responders as they traverse both the common and the less-known rigors of these critical positions.