First Responders and Mental Health | Mental Health Blog
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First Responders and Mental Health

first responders and mental health

First Responders and Mental Health

Firefighters are the first on the scene for a deadly fire. We see an ambulance zoom by to get to the scene of a serious gun wound.

First responders are certainly heroic, but they are still human, and those stressful and often gruesome events they deal with on a regular basis are bound to take a toll on them both physically and mentally. Because of these trying experiences, first responder mental health is a topic that shouldn’t be ignored.

First Responder Mental Health Issues

As a mental health facility, we want you to be aware of the problems with first responders’ behavioral health so that you can recognize these issues in a loved one or even yourself and get the appropriate mental illness treatment.

Because they are exposed to traumatic events on a constant basis, first responders often suffer from depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse. In serious cases, when the first responder’s mental health is neglected, it may lead to suicide.

If you or a loved one is a first responder who struggles with their mental well-being, do not hesitate; our mental health treatment in Boca may be able to help.

Compared to the general population where about 20% of people develop behavioral health issues, it is estimated that about 30% of first responders will develop these problems. [1] With close to a third of this population suffering from mental health disorders, it is obvious that first responder mental health is a serious issue that needs consideration.

Like many people who attempt to deal with depression, first responders too may turn to alcohol or drugs to cope. One study found that as much as 40% of emergency response professionals have high-risk alcohol and drug use rates. [2] What begins as a way to deal with a bad day at work can develop into a serious drug or alcohol problem that may require our co-occurring disorder treatment in Boca in order to get better.

Finally, when the poor mental health in first responders is mixed with a substance abuse disorder, it may lead to suicide. One study in particular found that 5.2% of EMT deaths were because of suicide compared to only 2.2% for non-EMTs. [3]

Overall research tends to suggest that suicide idealization and suicide rates are higher in first responders than in the general population.

Does your loved one suffer with depression and drug abuse? Are you struggling with how to overcome PTSD? Our mental health care in Boca Raton may be able to help. Do not be ashamed, and do not wait around any longer.

Contact us today at 888-280-4763 to get your life back and to learn more about our residential mental health program in Boca.


  1. SAMHSA & Disaster Technical Assistance Center Supplemental Research Board – First Responders: Behavioral Health Concerns, Emergency Response, and Trauma
  2. – Occupational risk factors in the emergency medical services
  3. Taylor & Francis Online – Death by Suicide- The EMS Profession Compared to the General Public
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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