Mental Health and Our First Responders

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Aspen Ideas: Health Goes Engaging Local Issues Series: Colorado’s first responders are three times more likely to die by suicide than injuries incurred on duty. With a higher than average suicide rate, natural disasters, and back-country fatalities, the idyllic landscape we call home sometimes masks treachery that takes a toll on the mental health of emergency responders. As an added dynamic, front-line heroes often hail from the same small mountain towns as those they rescue. Trained to be calm and composed in high-stress situations, many have tried to hide their own PTSD and other emotional challenges. Fortunately, as stigma gives way to openly acknowledging a widespread problem, and the importance of mental health education and counseling are recognized, the culture is starting to change. How do we protect those who protect us?

  • 2019 Health

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