Changing the landscape of mental health support
The new Trauma Assist Program for first responders
Every day, police officers, firefighters, mental health practitioners, healthcare professionals, and other first responders are dispatched to manage traumatic events. Once these professionals are on the scene, they need to be able to assess the situation quickly, respond appropriately, and provide care to the community impacted by the event.
While supporting others is at the core of what they do, first responders often do not apply this altruistic behaviour to themselves because admitting to a personal struggle that involves a stress reaction to a traumatic event is seen as a weakness in their work culture. Many first responders are reducing this stigma by stepping forward and disclosing that they too suffer after experiencing a single traumatic occurrence or repeated exposure to such events.