EDITOR'S NOTE: This article originally appeared on EMS1.com. Special thanks to our guest author, Carol Brzozowski, for EMS1 BrandFocus.
8 min read
Topics: EMS Community Paramedicine Mental Health
8 min read
It’s a stressful job, so you need to know how to check in and take care of yourself
Firefighting is a stressful occupation. Working in unpredictable and hazardous environments takes a physical toll. Difficult calls, variable duty schedules, working in close proximity with others who may or may not be personally compatible – all of these things contribute to stress that, if not well managed, can lead to significant issues for both physical and mental health.
In recent years, fire departments have done much better in emphasizing physical health and safety, through such things as improved protocols for use and care of PPE, the mandatory use of seatbelts and requirements for rehab during prolonged incidents. Many fire departments now have regular health screenings for all members and maintain records on long-term health risks like job-related cancers.
Attention to firefighter mental health has lagged behind more obvious physical hazards. According to a 2017 study, more firefighters die from suicide each year than in the line of duty. Firefighters are at increased risk of depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health-related problems that may be either chronic or acute. While organizational support in these areas would be optimal, individual firefighters can also take steps to care for their own mental health.
Here are 10 simple things you can do to support and enhance mental wellness for yourself and your fellow firefighters.
Topics: Wellness Mental Health
4 min read
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world in innumerable ways, but it's growing increasingly apparent that it's contributed to a worldwide crisis of another kind: mental health.
The need for mental health resources in the UK is on a sharp incline. Dr Adrian James, the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, recently stated that the pandemic has posed a great threat to mental health, and threatens to undo years of progress without a new injection of funds into the system.
While mental health has been a growing need for a number of years, the demand has increased exponentially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June of 2021, a record 1.5 million people across the UK received mental health treatment from the National Health Service (NHS). According to Dr James, many more desperately need that treatment. After a year of lockdowns, an estimated 1.6 million more people have come forward looking for help, and are waiting for treatment.
Topics: United Kingdom Mental Health
3 min read
Mental health is a growing need around the world. Over 50 million people in the United States alone—1 in 5 adults—are dealing with mental health issues. And the trend extends to all ages; 1 in 6 young people in the U.S. between the ages of 6 and 17 struggle with mental health. Living through a global pandemic has only made matters worse. In May 2021, Children's Hospital Colorado declared a state of emergency for pediatric mental health.
Over the past few years, Ute Pass Regional Health Service District in Teller County, Colorado, has set out to improve care for mental health patients. They built a top-tier community paramedicine program uniquely trained to respond to mental health calls. They also equipped their community paramedics with Pulsara, a healthcare communications, telehealth, and logistics platform. The result is a dynamic program that meets mental health patients where they are.
13 min read
Community paramedics are pioneering new ways to care for mental health patients – here’s how
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, EMS providers have seen an alarming uptick in patients refusing to go to their doctor’s office or the emergency room. Many others – including those with urgent conditions – have even been hesitant to call 911.
“We saw patients who were just foregoing all of their medical care – they were ignoring their emergency conditions,” said James McLaughlin, director of the community paramedicine program at Ute Pass Regional Health Service District in Woodland Park, Colorado.
To ease his community’s fears, McLaughlin introduced a new Healthcare Options Mobility and Engagement, or HOME, program, which pairs an in-home paramedic visit with a telehealth consult by a physician – like Dr. Jeremy DeWall, EMS medical director at Ute Pass Regional Health Service District.