Long hours, high stakes, traumatic events, life-threatening situations—the stressors of the work can take a toll on first responders. Helping others requires strength and bravery, and a “get the job done” mentality. These traits though can also lead to stigma around behavioral health challenges. Working through COVID-19 has also increased behavioral health challenges like depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance use disorders, and suicide among first responders. Find help from those who understand what it’s like. Scroll for more.
7 out 10 first responders said they would be open to behavioral health support if their leaders were open about their own experiences.23
8 out 10 said they’d be more open about their challenges if their fellow first responders were open.24