"The fire service has made great strides in identifying stress as it relates to firefighters on and off the job. Out of lessons gleaned from the enduring trauma of war to the repeated violence connected with domestic disputes, the fire service has become aware that our experiences as firefighters are on par with soldiers returning from battle and civilian victims of battery."
Recognizing the symptoms is the first step just prior to getting help. And due to our history, that ego thing seems to get in the way. "We're tough and can handle it." But what if you didn't have to "handle" it? What if opening yourself up and being vulnerable could actually strengthen you? Make you a stronger hero to those you help and those around you.
That's where a client of mine comes in. Leslie Yancy of Hero 2 Hero offers a range of speaking engagements and workshops on this very thing for first responders and healthcare personnel. From Leslie's website, "Bringing awareness and education to this subject is the key to stopping the suicides and unhealthy coping mechanisms. We need to break through the stigma that says stress and PTSD is a sign of weakness. It's your strength."
Educate yourself on the signs and develop a network of resources to assist. There is power in numbers and none of us are alone in this battle.