Mental Health, Sleep Deprivation and Career Stress in EMS and Fire

The human brain is a marvelous, yet complicated system. Researchers spend entire careers studying what makes the brain act or react to certain experiences. A mental health issue stemming from life’s experiences has culturally been seen as a sign of weakness, but actually is part of a very complex architecture that’s unique from person to person. In order to gain an understanding of how stress plays a role in the lives of first responders, we need to start answering some hard questions: What leads to burn-out? What’s associated with PTSD? How is lack of sleep affecting the mental health states of first responders? These are all questions that have a need to be answered to not only benefit the individual, but also organizations and the emergency responder industry. As an epidemiologist, I surround myself with existing data, publications and information prior to approaching a project or topic. Specifically looking at research on first responder mental health, it’s concerning to see such a lack of data and research on this topic. Putting it into perspective, I have compared the military population to the emergency responder population; both groups have approximately two million individuals within their respective organizations, whether full-time, part-time or volunteers. When I performed a search in the PubMed database for research publications pertaining to “mental health and military,” I received over 4,400 results; but when I looked at &ldqu...
Source: JEMS Special Topics - Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Tags: Exclusive Articles Resiliency Operations Source Type: news

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