First Responders are the backbone of our communities. They devote long and often unpredictable hours of professional and volunteer time, as well as expend a great deal of physical and mental energy, to benefit others.
The ultimate and goal for a First Responder is to protect and save, whatever the cost, and many put their lives on the line daily. It can be rewarding and energizing work, but also depleting.
First Responders are repeatedly exposed to extreme situations with high levels of stress, challenge and uncertainty. While many emergency calls have a good outcome that replenishes the drive and commitment to helping, others may end tragically. Due to the nature of emergency work, First Responders are repeatedly exposed to highly emotional and disturbing scenes, severe injury, death and repeated experiences of powerlessness and grief.
The work of a First Responder is invaluable and their health and happiness well-deserved. First Responders may benefit from trauma focused therapy to assist in unpacking the stress that inevitably comes with the job or debriefing a particular memory that has gotten stuck. The goal of therapy is to develop or return individuals to effective ways of coping with this important calling.
If you or a loved one is a First Responder in need of assistance, please reach out. We have providers on staff who are well trained to serve this invaluable group of individuals.
-Authored by: Dr. Joanne Shovlin