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Old 06-20-2017, 09:58
pleasenotasystole pleasenotasystole is online now
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Default Professional help as a career firefighter?

And by professional help, I'm sure most of you guessed what I meant.

Seeing a therapist or psychiatrist. Is it just me or does it seem like a taboo area for firefighters and candidates? I'm not talking about post traumatic stress debriefing after a major incident, I'm talking about clinical depression and other mental health issues. I've talked with a number of friends who confided in me that there were points in their life where they wanted to get help but were afraid of the implications while testing for departments. Everyone working in this field knows that the US has a serious lack of funding and research for mental health. It's understandable that you would want your first responders and police to have a strong mental fortitude, but at the same time, fighting for a job, especially in a state as competitive as California, it can definitely take its toll on people.

What's your take on the whole thing? Or am I mistaken and misinformed?
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Old 06-20-2017, 10:18
J Nez J Nez is offline
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Default Re: Professional help as a career firefighter?

Recently going through my department's hire academy, I was surprised to see so much time the department devoted into educating us about their EAP and support services programs. We had multiple personnel come in to talk to us during our admin week of the academy. To be quite honest, with all the information thrown at us during the academy I didn't pay too close of attention to all the EAP and support lectures but it's great to know these programs are always readily available to us.

Programs are there, paid for by departments and are fully confidential. Definitely gives me confidence if I ever need help I have avenues to turn to.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:19
rvcemt rvcemt is offline
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Default Re: Professional help as a career firefighter?

Here's a link to a good article about the topic. There is a peer support class that you can take through CSFA and IAFF and start a program within your department. There are resources out there but the fact remains people are apprehensive to use them due to the negative stigma attached to them, hopefully this changes soon.


After a horrific blaze, Oakland firefighters confront lasting emotional scars - PBS NewsHour
https://apple.news/A6Wc6ZCfTQQaFIlaKOAyWmQ
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:33
terrible one terrible one is online now
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Default Re: Professional help as a career firefighter?

I think it's beginning to get more attention and becoming less taboo. I can also understand the concern of seeing a therapist / psychiatrist while testing. There are certain psychiatric medications that are on the NFPAs 1582 medical qualifications that are category A or B. And I don't believe the psychiatrists prescribing them are as informed of the disqualification factors that come with taking these medications. Most psychiatric meds come with a trial and error period and take time to regulate and get the correct dose. Usually over a year before one can begin to when off of them. Which also doesn't help while testing.
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Old 09-17-2017, 14:39
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Default Re: Professional help as a career firefighter?

Bumped and moved to a different section.
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