Mental health of first responders
| 10.26.2006 | 22:59:03 | Views: 6364 | ID:
October 27 '06: The mental health of first responders during a disaster can be significantly damaged, like the victims of the disaster who the responders are trying to help, Homeland Response reported this week. According to mental health experts and first responder organizations, the stress of response can pose serious mental health risks.
Homeland Response reported, "In the aftermath of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, emergency responders worked hard to aid victims who were caught in the web of the disaster. ... Because these two events were unanticipated, first responders and other health care workers were not prepared to deal with the psychological impact afterward," according to comments given by Red Cross Senior Associated for Disaster Health Susan Hamilton.Hamilton said, "Many of these workers live in a pervasive culture of fear. ... But in order for them to overcome this fear, it is important for them to prepare for the physical and psychological impact disaster events can bring about." Currently the American Red Cross is offering two courses to help first responders handle the emotional impacts of response. The Foundations of Mental Health and Psychological First Aid have been designed to help address the stress of disaster preparedness and response.Additional resources can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services page.
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