Supporting EMS Mental Health
The field of EMS is one that comes with a great deal of stress -- yet the corresponding impact on the EMS community frequently goes unnoticed or unacknowledged, often until it is too late. With this in mind, NAEMSP is attempting to work towards a future with more robust support systems for EMS personnel and their mental health, as well as a culture that places less of a stigma on mental health issues. The following resources and initiatives represent recent progress in mental health support for EMS.
The following resources include tools that EMS organizations might implement to improve and develop their mental health support systems.
- This article and podcast episode from JEMS explores the use of ePCR data to identify the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder.
- The U.S. Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime recently developed the Vicarious Trauma Toolkit, which aims to increase organizational capacities to respond to vicarious trauma. Their EMS resource compendium contains additional resources for EMS organizations.
- The Code Green Campaign is an organization dedicated to first responder mental health advocacy and education. Their education page has a wealth of resources, including classes available to take surrounding topics such as suicide prevention and reducing stigma.
These resources may be useful to EMS personnel experiencing mental health issues.
- The All Clear Foundation, an autonomous public charity founded by Global Medical Response, offers wellness resources for emergency responders and their families including a Crisis Text Line, the ResponderStrong initiative with responder-informed clinical services and educational tools, and Train the Trainer workshops teaching the ResponderStrong mental health curriculum.
- Tania Glenn and Associates is a clinical therapy practice focused on serving the mental health needs of veterans, first responders and their families.
- Safe Call Now is a confidential, comprehensive, 24-hour crisis referral service for all public safety employees, all emergency services personnel and their family members nationwide.
Mental Health Crisis Response
Working Together: How 988, Crisis Response, and EMS Can Improve Community Care
This recorded webinar, hosted by NHTSA’s Office of EMS in collaboration with the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), discusses challenges and opportunities for collaboration between EMS and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988) that launched in July 2022.
- Kate Elkins, NHTSA Office of EMS
- Daniel Gerard, International Association of EMS Chiefs
- Richard McKeon, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Sean Caffrey, National EMS Management Association
- Jodie Chinn, Gunnison Regional 911 Authority
- Kimberly Behounek, Gunnison Valley Health