PTSD Awareness Day - First Responder Edition
By Members Kelly Richards & Kathryn Moats
June 27, 2022

PTSD Awareness Day is observed every year on June 27th in hopes to raise awareness of the condition that many may suffer from after experiences or witnessing a traumatic event. So how common is PTSD among first responders? According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), roughly 1 in 3 first responders develop PTSD. In comparison, the incidence of PTSD in the general population is 1 in 5. According to one study, PTSD is present in approximately:

- 15% of emergency personnel (paramedics)
- 13% of rescue teams
- 7% of firefighters
- 5% of police officers

In absolute numbers, an estimated 400,000 first responders in America have at least one symptom of PTSD. LPVRS Correspondence Secretary, Kathryn Moats kindly shared her thoughts on the topic:

"From one moment to the next, we rarely stop to think about what we just witnessed. We prepare for the next call physically, mentally, and emotionally. We thank the universe that we are alive to try to save the next life and fight the next fire. To the outside world, we are the ones who show up for every emergency. We are the heroes.

Today, take a minute to stop and think about all the battles within, all the wounds that aren't visible.
We stand together ready every second to risk our lives for you without a second thought or a moment of hesitation no matter what battles we are facing on our own.

This is for all the military and first responders who face the trauma of what we fight at home. This is for how many of us are terrified to say that something is wrong at risk of losing our jobs or our departments which we hold so dearly. This is for the reminder that we need the opportunity to speak up without the fear of retribution. This is for our PTSD spoken and unspoken."

Use today to raise awareness and eliminate the stigma of seeking help. Linked you'll find a quick and easy online self-screen as well as links to more information and resources available. PTSD awareness day - we're all in this together!

Hyperlinks: PTSD Self-Screen
National Center for PTSD
SAMHSA - First Responders: Behavioral Health Concerns, Emergency Response, and Trauma