Hope Squad offers with psychological well being within the First Responder Neighborhood – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Value

The pandemic has put a heavy strain on EMS and other first responders, many of whom have already faced so much trauma in their industry.

This is the result of a recent survey by the Ministry of Health.

A survey by Project HEROES (Houston Emergency Opioid Engagement System) of approximately 1,467 people shows statistics on how the pandemic has impacted Texas rescue workers and other first responders:

  • 60% of respondents said they currently have symptoms of a significant mental disorder, often including physical symptoms, insomnia, and anger.
  • 58% of those surveyed who have a mental disorder or have been diagnosed are or have been treated.
  • 24% of respondents with substance use disorder (SUB) have taken treatment.
  • Over 50% said they participated in binge drinking.

DSHS said the results were not surprising but “worrying”.

Local mental health advocates for first responders give the same response.

“This is not your normal 9-to-5 job. Our people – when they jump in that ambulance or first aiders jump on equipment or police vehicles – they don’t know what to expect in the next 10 hours. “, 12-hour or 24-hour shift,” said Desiree Partain, a director of the Hope Squad for MedStar.

Hope Squad is MedStar’s own peer support group, founded about two years ago to address these types of issues in their community.

“Our mission is to address all mental health issues. We deal with suicide and suicide prevention – our focus has been on wellness and resilience, especially in recent years, ”said Parttain.

She said they also recently conducted their own survey, in partnership with the One Tribe Foundation and the UT Health Science Center in Houston, which found similar results due to the additional stressors caused by the pandemic.

“One of the things we’re talking to people about here is that you came into this industry because you wanted to help people. You have this servant heart. And I think you are all great at taking care of other people, but sometimes stink of taking care of yourself. So let’s change that, “said Partain.” As first responders, we are 4 to 5 times more likely to have PTSD, suicidal thoughts, or some form of mental health problem. Knowing this is so important to us as a first responder community to make this a priority. “

MedStar’s Hope Squad is available to your team around the clock. You are trained to recognize when people might be having trouble.

You want other agencies to form similar groups and peer counseling resources.

“I think my question to agencies and organizations and departments is: What are you doing about it? Talking is one thing, “said Partain.” My other advice is to find people who are genuinely passionate about the subject, whether they can identify with themselves, or whether there is a driving force that keeps the fire burning. We know that mental health is not just about one thing, peer support or counseling services. It really is a network of resources to find people in companies who are enthusiastic about the topic and keep this dynamic going. “

If you are a first responder and need assistance, you can contact Partain from the Hope Squad at. turn [email protected]

DSHS would also like to help first responders and teach them to recognize, approach and support.

  • Realize that there is a free CE training SUB in the first aid workforce.
  • approach: Share / call the HEROES helpline, you can discuss the advice privately and confidentially and receive treatment.
  • Support: Offer / accept support during the healing process.

If you or someone you know has mental health problems or substance abuse issues, you can call 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This number applies to everyone, including first aiders.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “Home” to 741741 .

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