We have partnered with Reboot Recovery to offer a 12-week free course for First Responders and their families. This is a “faith-based stress and trauma healing journey, designed to address the spiritual and moral toil that traumatic incidents take on those within the law enforcement, Firefighter, and EMS communities. This course can help marriages and families heal. Past participants see divorce rates drop, substance abuse decrease and suicide numbers reduced.
We know from studies in both the US and Canada that first responders also have elevated rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and alcohol use disorder when compared to the general population.
One study included in the White Paper Research found that on average, police officers witness 188 ‘critical incidents’ during their careers. This exposure to trauma can lead to several forms of mental illness. For example, PTSD and depression rates among firefighters and police officers have been found to be as much as 5 times higher than the rates within the civilian population, which causes these first responders to commit suicide at a considerably higher rate (firefighters: 18/100,000; police officers: 17/100,000; general population 13/100,000). Even when suicide does not occur, untreated mental illness can lead to poor physical health and impaired decision-making.
In January 2020 ABC News reported a record 228 suicides by police officers active and retired, compared to 172 in 2018. You can view the story here.
In addition, the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FBHA) estimates that approximately 40% of firefighter suicides are reported. If these estimates are accurate, the actual number of 2017 suicides would be approximately equal to 257, which is more than twice the number of firefighters who died in the line of duty.
Our current course is closed to new participants, but Reboot Recovery is currently offering FREE online virtual courses. Visit the Reboot Recovery Web Site here for more information including course registration.