Showing posts with label first responders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label first responders. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Stigma around PTSD still exists despite ‘shock’

Stigma around PTSD still exists despite ‘shock’ around Ontario police officer’s death

Global News
By Dave Woodard and Don Mitchel 
Posted November 28, 2023
His death opened doors for his immediate family who used the episode to speak openly about his demons and reminded first responders they don’t stand alone in the stigma surrounding mental health.
A first responder from Alberta is making his way across Canada on foot. Now in Nova Scotia, he's hoping to encourage others suffering from PTSD to open up about their struggle. Shelley Steeves reports. – Jul 14, 2023
In a five-part series titled First Responders in Crisis, Global News is looking at some of the issues that continue to loom around mental health and first responders. We’ll explore what’s being done to help first responders and what has changed over the decade.

December will mark 10 years since a well-regarded Hamilton Police investigator took his own life inside Central Station, putting a spotlight on first responders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the job.

Family and friends of the late Staff-Sgt. Ian Matthews expressed surprise in the days following the Dec. 17, 2013, episode, including Const. Andrew Leng, who was a neighbour.

“He lived two doors down from me, and I watched his kids grow up with mine,” Leng recalled. “So I knew him as more than just a police officer, I knew him as a neighbour … as a person. When he took his life, yeah, it completely shocked me.”
learn more here

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

"Our veterans and first responders need help, and they need to be heard" and so do we

Hundreds turnout to run for first responders, veterans and law enforcement officers

ABC Action News
By: JJ Burton
Oct 22, 2023
“Our veterans and first responders need help, and they need to be heard,” she said. “Seeing how much this event grows every year just shows how much noise is being made for a cause that needs more concern.”
Hundreds showed up at Madeira Beach for a very important race, the Legends Never Die 5K. For the people racing, winning wasn’t the goal. “We are here to raise awareness about PTSD and mental health for first responders and our military,” said Fire Chief Clint Belk.
MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — Hundreds showed up at Madeira Beach for a very important race, the Legends Never Die 5K.

For the people racing, winning wasn’t the goal.

“We are here to raise awareness about PTSD and mental health for first responders and our military,” said Fire Chief Clint Belk.

The department started the race three years ago with just their firefighters. Now, it’s grown to more than 300 people running with them.

“It’s great,” Kaylee Turner said. “This event means so much to me and my family.”
read more here

This is a good thing to do. Not trying to take away from helping them at all. It just makes me wonder what if they do something for everyone with #PTSD to show that if civilians can get hit by PTSD by just one event, those subjecting themselves to events all the time, can learn just how human they are!

Saturday, November 20, 2021

First Responders Don't Get Help To Heal, After Helping US?

"If you get shot and you have PTSD it would be covered. But if you watch your best friend get shot, it's not." Ashley Wilson

That was the part that got me. Why is this still going on?

New legislation proposed to help provide mental health services to first responders struggling with PTSD

Kaitlyn Ross
November 16, 2021

Under Georgia law there's not a way for a first responder to get help for PTSD unless they're also physically injured.

There's a new push to help first responders struggling with Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

From firefighters to police officers to dispatchers, currently, none of them are eligible for a worker's compensation claim to deal with a psychological injury unless they first have a physical injury to heal.

In an 11Alive exclusive, a metro Atlanta officer is leading the charge on a new proposed bill just filed that could change that. Ashley Wilson joined the police force at 24.

"I was excited. I was going to go out there and make a difference," she said.

She says she soon realized the cost of making that difference.

"I had absolutely no idea about the horrible things that people can do to each other. And unfortunately, I found out real quick," she said.

Wilson says the learning curve is steep for everyone all first responders, as soon as they answer their first call.

She knows a firefighter who was recently let go after admitting to his chain of command that he was struggling with the mental toll of the job.
"To me, I was just taken back that he was reaching out for help and he got fired," she said.
read more here
What does this tell everyone else with PTSD? It sends the wrong message because if they don't want to take care of the responders, showing up to the events that cause PTSD in the rest of us, then they don't care about us either! 

The fact is, not all survivors get PTSD but everyone with PTSD IS A SURVIVOR of what caused it and responders came to help us survive. It is time for all of us to help them heal!

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD

Friday, November 19, 2021

When will Canada take PTSD in firefighters seriously?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 19, 2021

We are killing ourselves through suicide was the headline by Shannon Pennington ex IAFF Calgary, Executive Director, NAFFVN. It was something he wrote July 11, 2011 and I posted. I reposted it because of this newspaper article. Ontario plan to help first responders deal with PTSD. "Labour Minister Kevin Flynn says the stress and danger faced by police, firefighters and paramedics can have a lasting and serious effect not only on their physical health, but their mental health as well.Labour Minister Kevin Flynn says the stress and danger faced by police, firefighters and paramedics can have a lasting and serious effect not only on their physical health, but their mental health as well."

So why bring it up again? Because apparently not much has changed.

WARMINGTON: Even firefighters off with PTSD face unpaid leave and firing without jabs

The City of Toronto has told off-work firefighters with post-traumatic stress or other on-the-job injuries that until they are vaccinated, they are cut off from their worker’s compensation insurance payments. the Toronto Sun has learned.

For several firefighters, this was a “punch in the gut” they did not need.

“I went off on PTSD prior to the mandate,” said one. “I have been informed by the WSIB that the city contacted them to tell them they will not be paying me … This despite being diagnosed by a WSIB psychologist.”

Another firefighter said he’s been struggling ever since he wasn’t able to revive a patient.

“I wake up in a sweat every night,” said the firefighter.

This is when they are in need of compassion. Not cancellation. Firefighters who received this ultimatum to get vaccinated or not be able to feed their families say they were stunned by the correspondence on City of Toronto letterhead that has Acting Fire Chief and General Manager Jim Jessop’s name at the top and is CC’d to Payroll, Human Resources Consultant (Disability Management) at the bottom.
Read more on the Toronto Sun

Don't get me wrong here because I am all for getting vaccinated. I am looking forward to getting my third shot because of all the people out there who won't even get one, or wear a mask, or do anything else because they don't believe it. Forcing them to decide what they will do, is a no brainer. They have to pick one, like get vaccinated, wear a mask, stop acting like there is nothing to worry about, or get tested once a week on their dime. Forcing firefighters out of work because their jobs gave them PTSD is stupid! They can't work, so the rule should not apply to them. Are they trying to make it worse for them?

Sunday, February 14, 2021

heal for those you love

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
February 14, 2021

Cross posted from PTSD Patrol

Happy Valentine's Day! Since it is a day to celebrate love, this is a special one for those who serve and suffer for it. There is no greater love than to be willing to sacrifice for those you love. Suffering is not part of the deal and it doesn't have to be, if you consider the reason you are hurting.

The desire to serve was engrained in your soul. It comes from a place of courage and deep devotion. It is what drove you to endure the hardships that came with the job you were among the few willing to do. So why are you paying a price for it? Because the power that enabled you to do what you did, holds the same power to harm you. It is a strong emotional core that caused the desire and to feel the pain even more, but it also holds the power to help you heal PTSD.

If you were willing to die for those you willing to heal for the same reason and LIVE FOR LOVE!

Read his story and learn more about this image that a lot of people thought was fake.

Never regret what you did out of love, no matter how others treated it or you. That is not your problem. It is theirs! Most of the time, they lack the ability to love as much as you do, care as much as you do, and they also lack the ability to feel all the good emotions as deeply as you do.

Use that same strength inside of you to heal for those you love and then, live a happier life because of what you did for love! is your life...get in and drive it!

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD

I Will Live For Love
Donna Summer

There's got to be a way that I can dream
Simply close my eyes and see
The worlds I've never known
What places that my soul has been 

Sometimes I need to run away and hide
And soar above the clouds and ride
I sail along so high
Till nothing's in my sky
Except the stars that fill my eyes 

And I will live for love
Where ever it may lead
It's written from the start
I know it's face by heart
I will live for love 

I'm searching for the one who holds the key
To all this crazy life I lead
Through galaxies in time
A solitary star that joins 

Sometimes I need to close my eyes and breathe
Inhale what life's been given me
A passion to ignite
A flaming heart a' flight
I close my eyes
I breathe
I'm free 

And I will live for love
Where ever it may lead
It's written from the start
I know it's face by heart
I will live for love 

The poet must have known
A lover of his own
"Cause that is when he wrote
Everything I felt for love 

And I will fight for love in life and life in love
And I will hold to things above
I'm strong enough to slay the dragon dead and there 

I will live for love 

I'm taller than the sky
This dream will never die
So only know that I
I will live for love 

The poet must have known
A lover of his own
That is when he wrote everything I felt for love
I will ever fight
I will live for life
I will live for love

Genius Lyrics

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Mind boggling questions on COVID-19

COVID-19 Common Sense Questions

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 22, 2020

There are just way too many claims about COVID-19 that are made by people who cannot back it up with facts all over social media.

What troubles me the most is there are too many who do not even bother to ask questions to clear things up.

My first question deals with the protestors. Do protestors know any facts at all?

Take North Carolina and the protestors who apparently have not heeded any of the warnings or recommendations from the experts, taking to the streets in large crowds without bothering to cover their own faces so they do not spread the virus to all the other strangers near them.

Hundreds gather in North Carolina and Missouri to protest stay-at-home orders

It isn't as if they are able to prevent the spread enough that they should even be talking about this, but they have not bothered to learn how to prevent it, thus preventing their fellow citizens from going back to whatever "normal" was for them sooner.

If masks are to prevent the wearer from spreading the virus, what good do they do to protect the healthcare workers from getting it from patients?

This is from last month but explains the point of this question.
In the area of Seattle that’s been hardest-hit, some nurses in emergency departments are washing and reusing surgical masks, gloves and gowns. They may work on a patient for hours or more before learning they tested positive for COVID-19.
“I’ve got a two-day supply of masks, so we’re trying to be conservative,” said Dr. Stephen Anderson, an emergency physician at the MultiCare Auburn Medical Center in suburban Seattle. “You get one in the morning. You clean it and reuse it.
The intent of the face masks to prevent the person wearing it from infecting someone else. That is why they wear them in operating rooms. The patient does not wear it to protect them!

Why aren't healthcare providers and responders given face shields to protect them from patients?

Police in NJ Town Wear Special Suits, Face Shields to Stave Off COVID-19

Why do some people pass off the pandemic as nothing more serious than the flu? When you look at the numbers consider that here in the US, CNN reported "New autopsy results show two Californians died of coronavirus in early and mid-February -- up to three weeks before the previously known first US death from the virus." But these are the numbers now.
Deaths COVID-19: Approximately 178,371 deaths reported worldwide; 45,075 deaths in the U.S., as of Apr. 22, 2020.*

Flu: 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.
When will people understand that we only know a fraction of the people hit by this?

Is The U.S. Testing Enough For COVID-19? As Debate Rages On, Here's How To Know
Nationally, testing has increased in recent weeks. According to the CDC, nearly 700,000 tests were completed last week. But the U.S. is not yet near the 10% positive benchmark.
Considering we have not managed to answer the more obvious questions on this, getting real answers to stop the poor attitude spreading out across the country will have the same odds that are not good.

Friday, April 10, 2020

PTSD: If the leaders have not managed to take care of their it yourself!

Stop waiting for someone else to do it!

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 10, 2020

Over and over again we read about responders not getting the mental health help they desperately need. After over 4 decades of research into what PTSD does, if the leaders have not managed to take care of their it yourself!

Stop waiting for someone else to begin taking care of you and the people you risk your life with. If they are still so ignorant they have not managed to provide you with the proper support, do it for each other. After all, peer support is what works best. It can only work if you learn all you can to be able to respond with facts, as well as encouragement.

The longer you wait, the more will die by their own hands because of what their jobs did to them!

You already their trust, because they trust you with their lives, as you trust them with yours.

Open your mouth if you think someone you know is struggling instead of fearing how they will judge you. If you still fear talking about PTSD, then that is your problem and you need to overcome it. Learn what it is and why you have it and then you will see that it is a price you are paying for surviving what you lived through.

Start helping each other heal! Contact me if you have questions 407-754-7526

Thursday, March 19, 2020

First Responders "professionals are not immune to experiencing the impact of the crises they respond to"

First responders need support too

Metro West Daily
By Michael Coughlin
March 19, 2020
While Covid-19 is a unique (and hopefully temporary!) crisis, first responders are on call every day to mobilize on a moment’s notice to assist those in medical crisis, drug overdoses, criminal activity, or natural or human-caused disasters. Think about it: EMTs in this area on a daily basis are administering multiple doses of Narcan to people who have overdosed on top of other medical emergencies. Police officers are constantly called to intervene in tense and dangerous situations all over the community. Hospital emergency room staff go from one medical crisis to the next without catching a breath.
The current worldwide concern about the spreading epidemic of Covid-19, the coronavirus, has reached emergency status in a growing number of hot zones such as Washington state and Northern Italy in addition to the locations in Asia where it first took hold. Closer to home a February biomedical conference in Boston is now linked to as many as 15 new cases of the virus.

At times like these, our community relies heavily on the trained professionals who respond to assist us at times of emergency. We take for granted the role that doctors and other public health professionals, paramedics and EMTs, fire fighters, police officers, and other emergency professionals play to keep the rest of us as healthy and safe as possible. But those professionals are not immune to experiencing the impact of the crises they respond to. Look no further than the heartbreaking story of the young physician in China who was reprimanded for first calling attention to the seriousness of the virus’ threat who then ended up contracting the virus and died from it.
read it here

Sunday, March 1, 2020

If it was your job to help others, what is wrong with admitting you need help too?

Nothing wrong with needing help now

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
February 29, 2020

"Lean On Me"
Bill Withers Lyrics
Sometimes in our lives we all have pain, we all have sorrow.
But if we are wise,
we know that there's always tomorrow.

All of you who serve, putting your lives on the line for the sake of someone else, are all still just human. You have the same emotions as everyone else.

What makes you different, is you willingly subject yourself to things others run away from. While you have more courage than most people, you also have more compassion than others, or you would not have taken on the job you did.

You spent everyday trying to make a difference. Sometimes you felt as if you failed when things went wrong. The thing you missed is that you did make a difference because if you were not there, it could have been a lot worse.
Lean on me when you're not strong
I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on.
read it here

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Officials told us there is not a way to track PTSD and suicide rates, and that services for these first responders are scarce.

Senator Jackie Rosen Visits Fire Station To Talk About HERO Act

KTVN 2 News
by Bryan Hofmann
February 18th 2020
"We don't want to secondarily traumatize our spouses or our children with the stories of the things that we see, which makes hard to offload," said Reid. "If we can get some help from the senators office, that would be a great assistance to us not watching our brothers and sisters take their own lives."

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is often talked about when it comes to members of the armed forces, but it also affects others -- like first responders.

Senator Jackie Rosen introduced a bill to extend assistance to first responders ahead of touring a firehouse today and speaking with local officials. First responders usually see people on their most traumatic days, and often carry that memory with them. Officials told us there is not a way to track PTSD and suicide rates, and that services for these first responders are scarce.
"We have had more suicides in the fire service than line of duty deaths," said Derek Reid, Fire Captain with Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.

That isn’t even taking into account the full scale of PTSD and suicide rates for firefighters. 100 percent of deaths in the line of duty are recorded, but suicide numbers are not always put on the record.

“We are receiving about 30 to 40 percent of confirmed cases of suicide within the fire service, so we are not even capturing all the data to get the true number of what the suicide rate is within the firefighter community," said Reid.
read it here

Friday, February 14, 2020

Mike Damon outlined his steps toward healing in Transition Guide For Veterans

How to #TakeBackYourLife in 6 steps

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 13, 2020

Dave Matthews of Remember the Fallen interviewed Mike Damon of Vetunite about a training manual he has on how to heal. "Mike Damon" aka (GodFather)

Mike Damon outlined his steps toward healing in Transition Guide For Veterans, as well as how first responders can heal!

Self Care
Service members need to learn how to take care of themselves!

Learn how to use what you have and speak up about what you need.

As you learn how to others learn too!

Peer support
Be around people who understand you and the culture you lived in.

Service to others
You risked your life serving others. You were willing to pay that price for doing that job that served others. You can continue to serve others by helping them heal too! Top that off with the fact it feeds your soul when you do!

Develop a new purpose
He talks about "team mission" and that is something that all responders need to hear. When you are doing your job, you depend on your team members, and they depend on you. It is the same way when you are paying a heavy price for doing your jobs. Your team members are counting on you and you need to count on them too. You never know how many are suffering too.

"Wicked frickin awesome!"

Never Forgotten Memorials and Vetunite endure reciprocity with collaborating resources to assist veterans with the Invisible Wounds of War "PTSD"

Thursday, February 6, 2020

What if Jesus did not ask for help?

Even Jesus Needed Help

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
February 6, 2020

Is needing help to heal PTSD still a sign of weakness to you? Too many believe it is, yet they do not consider it to be a wise thing to do. There is not much that can be accomplished by someone without someone else to help them, believe in them and be willing to stand by their side.

If you are suffering right now because you were willing to sacrifice your life for the sake of others, and struggling, there is something you need to be reminded of.

What if Jesus did not ask for help? The Son of God did ask for it many times.

First He asked Peter and Andrew.

Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee. He saw two brothers. They were Simon (his other name was Peter) and Andrew, his brother. They were putting a net into the sea for they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Follow Me. I will make you fish for men!” At once they left their nets and followed Him.

And He asked again
Going from there, Jesus saw two other brothers. They were James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were sitting in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus called them. At once they left the boat and their father and followed Jesus.
And He asked again,
read it here

Thursday, January 23, 2020

"When you see it on television, that is difficult. It is a lot tougher when you are there."

Connecticut State Police Create Program to Help First Responders Manage PTSD

NBC Connecticut
By Siobhan McGirl
January 22, 2020
Dillon said he will never forget responding to the scene of the school shooting in Sandy Hook in December of 2012. Twenty students and six adults were killed. Dillon spent one week processing evidence on the scene, but he struggled to process the event on a personal level.

The state is taking new measures to help first responders who may be struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"When you see it on television, that is difficult. It is a lot tougher when you are there," said Sgt. Troy Anderson.

Anderson retired from the Connecticut State Police after more than 20 years of service, but he is coming out of retirement. Anderson is filling a newly created position, heading up a wellness and resiliency program. The veteran law enforcement officer will be tasked with creating programs and finding resources to meet the wellness needs of all six divisions of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
read it here

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Hazmat crews clear air at Fairmont San Jose after chemicals used for suicide

Chemicals used in apparent suicide at San Jose hotel force evacuations

ABC 7 News
By Anser Hassan
September 1, 2019

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The Fairmont San Jose reopened late Saturday afternoon after four floors of the high-end hotel were evacuated that morning.

Hazmat units were sent to clear out the 19th floor due to toxic chemicals used in apparent death by suicide.

"Initial reports were saying that somebody had attempted suicide by using chemicals," explains San Jose Fire Captain Mitch Matlow.

San Jose police later confirmed the death by suicide in an email to ABC7 News.

Captain Matlow described the victim only as an adult female. He says the chemicals were found in her room.

"We determined that there were chemicals in the room, what those chemicals are or how many there were, I don't know," says Matlow, adding that, "The hazard was contained to that one room."

He says some guest may still notice an usual odor, but stresses that the air inside the hotel and the surrounding area is not toxic.

"The only issue is a bad odor, that is not dangerous, and the hotel is working very diligently to get rid of the odor by putting fresh air into the building," he says.
read it here

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

‘Call for Backup’ before suicide creeps into their thoughts

Police, first responders urged to ‘Call for Backup’ before suicide creeps into their thoughts

News Herald
By Jackie Harrison-Martin
Aug 12, 2019
According to the program, people who choose suicide often keep up a “normal” appearance because they’ve hidden a lot of things away inside their own “hurt locker,” a personal “locker” where stress is stored and hidden.”

Far too many times, three words have been exceptionally difficult for police officers, firefighters and other first responders to say — “I need help.”

It has come at a high cost, and that is that is changing.

David Edwards is the founder and president of Call for Backup, a program focusing on the mental health for emergency and rescue personnel with the end goal being to reduce incidents of suicides.

He coordinates a two-day training class that gives first responders the tools needed to help recognize when they or one of their own is overwhelmed, detect when stress is building and make reaching out for help an easier stop.

It was Edwards, a Taylor resident, who came up with the name for the program that was launched three years ago and is now being taught in numerous states.

He said the name is one first responders can relate to because they recognize what it means out in the field.

When officers need help mentally, he hopes it will be viewed with the same understanding and ease that calling for backup brings on the job.
read it here

Monday, August 12, 2019

More first responders saving others....but not themselves

For second day in row, NYPD mourning officer who died by suicide

NBC New York, citing law enforcement sources, reported that the officer who died Wednesday was 56 years and found in his Queens home after police were called around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday.

On Tuesday, another police officer died by suicide in Yonkers.

Since the beginning of June, seven NYPD officers have died by suicide, and nine since the beginning of the year.
read it here

FDNY captain found dead of apparent suicide in his Staten Island home: sources

AUG 06, 2019

An FDNY captain was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Staten Island home Tuesday morning, police sources said. The 53-year-old captain was found hanging in a closet of his Tottenville home at about 11:15 a.m., sources said. 

His name has not yet been publicly released. An autopsy is pending, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner’s office said.

FDNY spokesman Myles Miller provided no details about the captain’s death Tuesday, though he said the department shared suicide prevention tips to its members after the suicides of seven NYPD officers this year — four of them over a three-week stretch.
read it here

NYPD suicides push officials to work to overcome stigma of asking for help

AUGUST 11, 2019
The study found that first responders failed to seek help because of the stigma of seeking mental health treatment in a profession that prioritizes bravery and toughness. It also found of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the country, “approximately 3-5% have suicide prevention training programs.”
The first sign something was wrong: The police sergeant didn’t show up for morning roll call.

New York Police Department officials went to his home, where they found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It was July 27, and the 30-year-old with eight years on the force was the NYPD’s seventh suicide this year, according to officials.

It’s news that rattled Police Commissioner James O’Neill, who says his biggest fear is another one of his officers is about to take his or her own life.

“Am I scared? I’ve got to be honest with you. Yeah, I am,” O’Neill told CNN during a recent interview at his office at One Police Plaza in Manhattan. “Maybe there’s somebody out there right now that’s in crisis or approaching crisis and just unable or unwilling to come forward.”

Over a two-month period, O’Neill has had often-painful conversations about a member of the department who killed himself. The number of NYPD suicides so far this year stands at seven — with five of those occurring since June.
read it here

FOX43 Focal Point: Heroes in Harm’s Way — First responders and mental health

AUGUST 11, 2019
"What they are seeing on a regular basis is not normal. We're responding to situations that would absolutely terrify another member of the public or completely devastate them if they've seen some of the carnage we've seen." Chief Jarrad Berkihiser

LANCASTER, Pa. -- For the third straight year, police officer suicides exceeded line of duty deaths in the United States. Local first responders are now sharing their battles with mental health issues. FOX43's Grace Griffaton takes a closer look at the toll the uniform can take. Lancaster Bureau Of Police lost a patrol officer last year after he took his own life. The loss hit the department hard, and it really changed how it looks at mental health. The flashing lights, the sirens, the tape, it's what civilians see. What first responders see, smell, and hear may never go away.

"Just watching what they do at an autopsy to four children - one being the same age as my daughter. It was kind of a gut bunch," said Chief Jarrad Berkihiser, Lancaster Bureau of Police. Flash back to August 22, 2003: Officers, including Berkihiser, respond to an arson on East Chestnut Street in Lancaster. Four children perished that day. "It was a homicide so I ended up spending 3 full days in the crime scene," explained Berkihiser. It wasn't Berkihiser's first time seeing trauma either; he spent his first 10 years processing violent crime scenes. "I was in a dark place in 2003, and it wasn't just one incident. What I found out? It was a culmination of multiple incidents over several years," he added.
read it here

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Time to break down that wall and let yourself out of the self-imposed prison

How can there be such a sinister plan?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 27, 2019

When everything seems like it is crashing all around you, it is hard to see anything good coming out of it. The thing is, that is exactly how you came out of the worst you have been through before.

It is not easy to feel as if you have to pay for something that other people did to you. It is not easy to end up suffering after doing the right thing either.

If you took a job that you knew could kill you, then that was a right thing to do for the good reasons.

Because you end up suffering afterwards, it is also easy to think that everything turned to crap, including what you think of yourself. You are no less than you were before you took that job.

Everything that was good about you, is still there. It is all there but the wall of pain has it all trapped.

Time to break down that wall and let yourself out of the self-imposed prison you have been in for far too long. 

You see the world through your cynical eyes

You're a troubled young man I can tell

You've got it all in the palm of your hand

But your hand's wet with sweat and your head needs a rest

And you're fooling yourself if you don't believe it

You're kidding yourself if you don't believe it

Why must you be such an angry young man

When your future looks quite bright to me
How can there be such a sinister plan
That could hide such a lamb, such a caring young man

You're fooling yourself if you don't believe it

You're kidding yourself if you don't believe it

Get up, get back on your feet

You're the one they can't beat and you know it
Come on, let's see what you've got
Just take your best shot and don't blow it

You're fooling yourself if you don't believe it

You're killing yourself if you don't believe it

Get up, get back on your feet

You're the one they can't beat and you know it
Come on, let's see what you've got
Just take your best shot and don't blow it
Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Tommy Shaw
Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
"Your future looks quite bright to me," if you take your best shot at waking up tomorrow with a new attitude that begins when you #BreakTheSilence and ask for help to achieve all that is possible for you.

If the stigma is stopping you because you are afraid of what people will think about you, then they must not really know you, or only pretend to be your friends. 

You are supposed to be able to trust your friends. When you discover you cannot, then instead of putting the blame on yourself, it is time to realize a friend would not betray you or turn their backs on you. They would stand by you and do whatever they can to help you. After all, isn't that what you would do for them?

If you have PTSD it means you survived something terrible. Why give into what is terrible now when you defeated it before? Why let it destroy what you have inside of you? Why give it power it does not deserve?

"You're killing yourself if you don't believe it

Get up, get back on your feet

You're the one they can't beat and you know it"

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Senate passed 9 11 responders fund forever

'Put down your swords': Senate passes bill ensuring 9/11 victims fund will never run out of money

NBC News
By Dareh Gregorian and Frank Thorp V
July 23, 2019

"I'm going to ask my team now to put down your swords and pick up your rakes and go home, and hopefully, we don't have to come back," victims' advocate John Feal told his fellow first responders at a news conference later. "What I'm going to miss the most about D.C. is — nothing."

Jon Stewart embraces a crying John Feal, the Sept. 11, 2001, first responder who led the organization pushing for the full extension of the victim compensation fund, just after the bill passed in the Senate on July 23, 2019.Frank Thorp V / NBC News

The Senate passed a bill Tuesday to ensure a fund to compensate victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks never runs out of money — and that first responders won't have to return to Congress to plead for more funding.

The vote came after intense lobbying from ailing 9/11 first responders — including one who died shortly after testifying before Congress last month.

The bill, which was passed by a vote of 97-2, would authorize money for the fund through 2092, essentially making it permanent.

Before the bill's final passage, the chamber defeated two proposed amendments: One, from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, would have restricted the authorization to 10 years; the other, from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, would have required offsets for the money spent on the fund.
read it here

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Healing PTSD is done with slow-gains, not slogans

Healing Slow-gains

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 19, 2019

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, if you have PTSD, you have plenty of company.

About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.

About 10 of every 100 women (or 10%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about 4 of every 100 men (or 4%). Learn more about women, trauma and PTSD.
The following quotes in bold are mine and no, you cannot just take them and use them as your own. I am done with my work being stolen.

Survivors never live alone©
The only way people "get" PTSD is by surviving traumatic events. In other words, something that put their lives in danger.

First Responders

We never leave events without them©

Did you wear the colors of your chosen job? Blue as a Police Officer, or a different color as a Deputy? Did you wear a uniform as a firefighter or EMT? Did you know that you were just as human as those you saved? Did you understand that while it only took one event for them to have PTSD, for you, it was the "one too many" that did it.

Sure you were trained to respond. You were trained to do your job. There is no training the world that could turn you into anything other than a human, just like everyone else.

Those who choose to die to save lives
should choose to ask for help to live! 

Did you wear one as a member of the military, National Guard or Reserves? Do you wear one now as a veteran of all of the above among your peers?

When your job is to help others,

let others help you too©

Are you Sozo?
to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction one (from injury or peril) to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue

Sozo, Salvation-Restoring spirit, soul and body

Definition of survive
1 : to remain alive or in existence : live on
2 : to continue to function or prosper

Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Now you have a better idea of what PTSD is, why you have it and should be able to understand the best part of can #TakeBackYourLife and heal. It is hard work and takes time but considering how long it took to train to do your jobs, and how hard you worked at are ready for healing because of your jobs the same way.

The next time you hear one of those stupid slogans about how many are committing suicide, here are a few to replace that ear worm number with.

Too many died
because the stigma lived©

Kill the stigma
Heal the survivor©

Point Man
leading to

Matthew 10:28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Slogans to raise awareness of suffering, only let you know it is happening. They do nothing to prevent suicide or stop someone from suffering so they understand how much they do have to live for.

Healing PTSD is done with slow-gains, not slogans©

Monday, July 15, 2019

Many federal agencies can't tally fatalities outside of work hours

Agencies Boost Efforts to Stop Wildland Firefighter Suicides

July 15, 2019

Reasons for the rise are unclear, though some cite longer and tougher wildfire seasons and an increase in the number of wildland firefighters who previously served in the military and were already dealing with post-traumatic stress.
Federal wildland firefighting authorities are increasing mental health resources following an apparent increase in firefighter suicides in recent years.

Officials at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise say it's difficult to track the number of suicides because many federal agencies can't tally fatalities outside of work hours and some families don't want the cause released. But officials say there appears to be a jump in known suicides, so efforts are being boosted to get wildland firefighters help.

Experts say the high-intensity camaraderie of the wildfire season can be followed by months of isolation in the offseason and sometimes money concerns without a steady paycheck.
read it here

If you are reading this, there is a reason you are here.

The fact that over 7 million Americans have PTSD, and most from just one event, needs to sink into your brain.

Why? Because you are still just another human, susceptible to the same kind of events the rest of the population goes through. For us, it can be just one event.

That said, you decided to put your own life on the line to save as many other people as possible. For you, it is the one event too many. 

If you do not look down on the people you are risking your life for...THEN WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT YOURSELF?

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife