Post-operational mental health concerns for public safety personnelPublic Safety

THE THREAT TO YOUR WELL-BEING CAN PERSIST AFTER YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN OPERATIONS HAS ENDED!

A number of factors inherent in the disaster environment dictate that you should maintain your vigilance against the emergence of physical and psychological problems, both in yourself and in your fellow public safety workers. Here are some reasons why:

Some stress-related symptoms are normal, and may dissipate as the weeks and months following the disaster pass; however, there are some things you should be aware of that are indicative of more serious problems:
Intrusive Thoughts and Ideas

Avoidance; Behaviors Designed To Block or Forget Memories About Your Experiences

Numbness

Hypervigilance or Increased Arousal

Relations with Others

Other Signs of Trouble

In the event of physical symptoms, you should seek medical attention. If any of the other problems mentioned here persist, you should seek treatment from a mental health professional.

Web Links

This article examines some of the difficulties that public safety personnel often face after disasters, and gives some suggestions for alleviating them.

Collection of articles related to police, stress, and suicides. Some were written by mental health professionals who used to be cops.

Cornell University conducted a study on stress and related issues among those NYC firefighters who were present during post-9-11-01 rescue/relief operations. Here is a discussion of the findings.

This site examines stress among the various public safety fields. It does a good job of differentiating among the specific types of stress faced by each of the various public safety fields.