Resilient Responders

Takes one to know one!

With over 17 years experience as a first responder, I know the challenges many of us face, because I have been there too! The media tends to focuses on the trauma that many people see, and while this is very real and prevalent, surprisingly, that is not all what first responders are struggling with. All of our experiences, positive or negative get wired in out brain. Negative traumas or stressors can be large and have an immediate impact (an extremely difficult call, rape, close call) while small traumas/stressors can add up over time. We often don’t realize how these small stresses can add up. If we are not recognizing and taking care of these stressors they can show up in the form of other symptoms, and we often don’t realize it is due to stress!

By the nature of the job, first responders face different stressors than the typical workforce. Stressors such as:

  • Shift work
  • Work/home balance
  • Hypervigilince “having to be on all the time”
  • Pressure to perform, with high stakes
  • Seeing death and trauma
  • Relationships with co-workers
  • Agency politics
  • Distance from family
  • Criticism
  • Work vs. family loyalty
  • Many more…

Some symptoms First Responders face

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Irritability/short fuse
  • Substance use
  • Lack of motivation
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Avoidance
  • Lack of confidence in performance and stress under pressure
  • Apathy
  • Overcoming past traumas
  • Identity
  • Current or past traumas

Building Resilince

Healing From Trauma

Resilience Education