A recent study found that more firefighters and police die by suicide than in the line of duty. With the recent assault on law enforcement officers, each officer and family member is confronted with the insidious effect of prolonged and extended stress of combat.
what we treat
When first responders leave home and say good bye to their loved ones for their day of service, the unknown fact is whether it is for the last time. This ongoing strain on the entire family system has the potential to tear the family apart or bring them closer together, depending on what is done. Most are unaware of the subtle undermining of well being this has. It often results in substance abuse and other undesirable coping strategies. In our trauma program, individuals will have the opportunity to share common experiences and discover they are not alone, but are better together.
It’s not unusual for first responders to deal with pain occurring from job injuries which further compounds the presenting problem of an injury. Many first responders become dependent on alcohol and substance abuse as a means of coping with pain from an injury sustained while serving. The dependence may have unwittingly started from an appropriately prescribed medication which progressed to inappropriate use of the substance.
No profession is at greater risk to trauma than our First Responders (Police, Firefighters or EMS). Traumatic events, such as combat, sexual assault or other experiences can be traumatic. The typical response from these professions is: “suck it up, box it up, move on.” Moreover, many individuals often bring previous traumas and mental health challenges prior to their service experience. Oftentimes, such conditions are masked with substance abuse. With a thorough assessment, we help identify each of the challenges which may be co-occurring with the PTSD, be it substance abuse or another mental health barrier.