Monday, June 24, 2024

John Rose Oak Bluff Talks on How Exposure To Job-related Trauma Can Affect Firefighters’ Mental Health and How To Support Them

John Rose Oak Bluff

Firefighting is an extremely stressful, challenging, and demanding occupation. Apart from extinguishing fire, they remain responsible for rescuing people from unsafe conditions, responding to medical emergencies, and saving people from natural disasters. Dealing with so many hazardous duties makes their job incredibly taxing on their physical and mental health says John Rose Oak Bluff. Working in erratic and perilous conditions on a daily basis often exposes them to trauma and can severely impact the mental and physical well-being of firefighters. 

According to Rose, if the stressful and traumatic condition they withstand cannot be handled timely and correctly, it can have a severe impact on their overall health, well-being, and quality of life. Considering the issue with utmost seriousness, the article suggests six ways that the fire department and their peers can support them to overcome the traumatic situation.  

Encourage Open Communication 

First of all, firefighters need to be encouraged to share their experiences at work with peers in the department. Having open communication soothes their mind making them feel comfortable while sharing their feelings without fear of a stigma. Forming a non-judgmental and supportive environment is all that makes firefighters feel comfortable, thereby seeking support when needed. Organizing a group counseling session is the best choice.

Access to Mental Health Support Cell 

Firefighters should have easy access to mental health support cells comprising counseling services, peer support programs, etc. The department should encourage both firefighters and first responders to be involved in stress management training, relaxation techniques, yoga, etc. 

Offer Training on Trauma-Informed Care

Considering the nature of the job that involves witnessing fires, traumatic events, and accidents regularly, providing training on trauma-informed care can be immensely helpful for them to have a better insight into how trauma impacts the brain and equally how to treat peers who experience trauma. The goal of the training should be developing coping strategies in firefighters to enable them to handle their personal exposure to trauma considering their long-term benefit. 

Promoting a Culture of Wellness Program 

Encouraging and organizing a culture of wellness programs like offering them healthy food options, facilities for exercise getting enough sleep as well as practicing self-care can be a great choice to promote their mental wellbeing. Moreover, they should be offered opportunities to join social events, and team-building to help build a sense of community and camaraderie within the department.

Recognize the Signs of Trauma in Firefighters 

As per the viewpoint of John Rose Oak Bluff, recognizing the signs of traumatic mental conditions is vital both for the firefighters themselves as well as their associates. The signs may include a shift in mood, behavior, and way of performing at work. Recognizing the signs in the first place will be helpful to see assistance from relevant departments and colleagues.  

Support to Firefighters’ Families

Consistent exposure to trauma often leads to PTSD among firefighters can eventually affect their family life significantly. So, providing support to their families can also work effectively for them to get over the situation. The support system should include family counseling, and resources for childcare, apart from support to spouses who are likely to deal with the symptoms of trauma, stress, irritability, anger, and change in mood, etc. 

Conclusion: 

Firefighters play a vital role in saving the lives of people due to fire, disasters, and other hazardous conditions. Therefore, promoting their mental health and overall wellness is crucial to enable them to execute their demanding duties effectively. By perusing the above-mentioned steps and strategies the fire department and their peers can support them and help them stay active on the job while enjoying a relaxing personal life. 

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