Grrrrr. 🤦🏻♀️ We already know ALL of the information provided in this article, and have for a LONG time!
We also know the answer to the question, “Did these officers have to die?” NO!
I’m fed up with reading about another study and another panel! Actions are what need to occur. Allow me to suggest some:
- stop trying to get first responders diagnosed with PTSD to return to work faster than you would if they broke their leg. PTSD is a complex diagnosis with multiple treatment options which take time.
- publicly fund and get insurance companies to cover all treatments offered for PTSD.
- provide and encourage peer support internally and externally.
- include family members in the first responder’s treatment regime. Family members have a wealth of knowledge which can help with care, AND family members themselves may require treatment.
- approve longer vacation time and stop tracking sick days. Mental health days ARE necessary and first responders should not feel bad for taking them.
- if you are a manager, reach out to your employees who are off due to PTSD! I (and many of my co-workers) have never had a phone call from my previous employer asking how I was doing. Even an email would have been nice.
- recognize retirement due to PTSD. These first responders sacrificed their lives every day to help their community’s. When we see that retirement for any other reason is celebrated, it hurts.
- make sure that first responders off with PTSD still feel like part of the “family”. Sanctuary trauma is a real thing and can be devastating for some.
… the list can go on! And I’m sure many who are reading this have many suggestions of their own.
Some of these suggestions don’t even cost a dime. They cost the time it takes to be a decent human being and support those who desperately need help.