FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2020
First Responders Dealing with PTSD is the Focus of an Upcoming Documentary
Frederick, MD – PTSD is having an impact on first responders all across the United States and a new documentary is being developed to tell the story. Filmmakers, Conrad Weaver and Nancy Frohman are working on the documentary in order to shed light on this ongoing issue that has often been ignored or glossed over.
PTSD911 will be a feature-length documentary telling the stories of fire fighters, paramedics, police officers, and 911 dispatchers who are struggling with the effects of years of encountering severe traumatic incidents. Suicide rates among first responder groups in the United States are much higher than the general population. In 2016, 139 firefighters died by suicide; and in 2019, 228 police officers died by suicide, nearly twice the number of officers who died in line of duty. Both firefighters and police officers are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. Many first responders self-medicate with alcohol or other self-destructive and abusive behaviors in an effort to cope with the stress and trauma they deal with daily. And unfortunately, many of their agencies are not providing them a supportive environment where they can get help.
Weaver says the film will help educate the general public about the stressors first responders face, “We expect them to show up when we call and take care of us when we’re at our worst. We know they are heroes; but we don’t realize that many are in trouble themselves!” Weaver hopes the film will not only raise awareness, but also inspire systemic changes in agencies that don’t have adequate support systems in place to care for members who are suffering from post-traumatic stress.
The film project has been endorsed by a number of organizations who provide help and training for first responders, including Concerns of Police Survivors, the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Blue HELP, the National Emergency Number Association, and others; a complete list can be found on the film’s web site, www.ptsd911movie.com.
The filmmakers recently released a teaser trailer for PTSD911 and they have launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo.com (bit.ly/PTSD911) to raise funds for the production of the film. “We’ll begin working on this as soon as the funds are in place and COVID-19 restrictions are eased allowing us to travel more freely. We hope to have the film completed by
Fall of 2021,” says Weaver.
To learn more about PTSD911, visit the web site at www.ptsd911movie.com
Many 911 responders often experience critical incidents that break their spirits and leave them with physical and emotional scars. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder negatively impacts mental wellbeing, interferes with work performance, relationships, and self-care. It may increase premature retirements, marital discord, and even suicide. The more we know about PTSD, the more we can reduce its risk. PTSD is treatable and we encourage people to seek help before more serious damage occurs. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder effects can be reduced and in many cases eliminated. This PTSD911 documentary can help individuals suffering from PTSD to have hope that tomorrow will be a better day than today.
- Critical Incident Stress Management offers help to front line workers in the pandemic https://www.wtrf.com/news/good-news/critical-incident-stress-management-offers-help-to-front-line-workers-in-the-pandemic/
- Senate passes bill ensuring LODD benefits for first responder virus deaths https://www.policeone.com/coronavirus-covid-19/articles/senate-passes-bill-ensuring-lodd-benefits-for-first-responder-virus-deaths-H8sYkrZm9NOJiBRw/
- The Thin Blue Line: Sacrifice remembered during National Police Week https://www.montrosepress.com/news/the-thin-blue-line-sacrifice-remembered-during-national-police-week/article_a9959686-9482-11ea-a039-3bdce024c7cb.html
- Faces of nursing in Anne Arundel: National Nurses Day celebrates heroes of the coronavirus pandemic https://www.capitalgazette.com/coronavirus/ac-cn-coronavirus-national-nurses-week-20200506-urh57xnjizcfdfhenwidqancmm-story.html
- DC chefs cook 15,000 meals for front-line workers and those in need https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/dc-chefs-cook-15000-meals-for-front-line-workers-and-those-in-need/65-8d976afe-4e98-46ed-bcb4-df6db999d40d
- Mental health centers offer help to health care workers responding to pandemic https://www.denverpost.com/2020/04/29/mental-health-care-doctors-nurse-first-responders-coronavirus-stress/
- Mattel releases new toys to honor workers on the front lines of the coronavirus battle https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mattel-thank-you-heroes-frontline-workers-action-figures/
- Stress in the Time of the Coronavirus https://www.delmarvapublicradio.net/post/stress-time-coronavirus-dt-04-24-2020-part-two
- NYC’s Kissaki delivers over 800 meals to first responders battling Covid-19 https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nycs-kissaki-delivers-over-800-meals-to-first-responders-battling-covid-19-301047065.html
- What It’s Like to Be a First Responder During COVID-19 https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/04/16/what-its-like-to-be-a-first-responder-during-covid-19/
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the wellbeing of first responders and health care professionals the focus of countless news stories. These helpers tend to push their own needs aside to care for others even though self care can make helpers happier, healthier, and able to support others more effectively.
Now, more than ever, it is imperative for those “in the “trenches” to practice self care. Just like on an airplane, it is important to put on your own oxygen mask before supporting others.
Some noteworthy news over the last month…
- Help from within: Training helps first responders deal with stresses of job
- ‘The health and wellness of our law enforcement officers should be just as important as their training and safety,’
- K9 team helps others cope with stress
- CA bill introduced for Mental Health Services for Emergency Ambulance Employees
- The Things They Carry: PTSD In The Fire Service
- 4 ways to effectively communicate during a critical incident
- Safety and security in places of worship
- Remove the stigma surrounding law enforcement officers seeking mental health services
- Increasingly for first responders, suicide is the tragic result of witnessing things no one wants to see
- Lawmaker introduces bill expanding access to federal funds for mental health support
Are you interested in CISM Legislation; Law Enforcement, Dispatch, Corrections, Fire Services, and Veterans; Mental Health, Stress, PTSD and Wellness. Here’s a roundup of articles posted in the last 30 days….
- Members Testify Before Senate on Critical Incident Stress Management Bill
- Leadership through Modern-Day Approaches to Community and Employee Wellness
- Corrections: Breaking the “I’m good” code of silence
- 3 things firefighters need to know about wellness programs
- 911 dispatchers are unsung heroes
- Police: If I Could forget what my eyes have seen
- Combat veteran uses Float therapy to treat PTSD
- Online program launched to offer mental health support to first responders in Saskatchewan
- CA Firefighter Hiking 500 Miles for PTSD Awareness
- Chief says mental health is the biggest issue for police services
- State Police roll out wellness program to help Troopers deal with job stress, PTSD
- Responding to Mental Health and Wellness Challenges: Ideas from the Field
- Addressing Post-Traumatic Stress in the Fire Service
- Fla. sheriff shares video encouraging LEOs to seek mental health help
Wellness and the Mental Health of First Responders continues to be in the forefront of news over the last month.
From reporting of annual suicide rates among various occupations to plans for addressing concerns, take a look at our compilation of recent coverage.
- Record number of LEOs died by suicide in 2019
- Addressing the epidemic of firefighter suicide
- Task force aims to reduce suicide rates for first responders
- Addressing operational stress and PTSD among police
- Veteran shares challenges, pain of PTSD in hope of helping others
- PTSD can wreck the lives of first responders. A Woodstock firefighter wants to change that
- Fire departments step up their mental health game
- Battling the loss of police in America: A cop’s desperate call for help
- The deaths of five law enforcement officers have caused leadership to re-evaluate how departments approach mental health
- Fire chief talks about the dangers of the job and importance of mental health
- New law making mental health services more accessible for first responders
- Suicide spurs fire union’s mental health pitch
- Retired officer steps in to save cop from taking his own life
Around the holiday season there is often an increase in feelings of stress as time and money resources are drained, and many people struggle with unresolved and recent losses. Self-care is essential year round, but even more so during this stressful season.
Proactive self-care can help all of us. Or if things are stress-free in your life, the tips in the attached articles will help you enjoy the season even more. Remember self-care happens all year long, not just the holidays.