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- September is National Preparedness month! Disasters Don’t Wait- Make your plan today
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