Moral Injury, PTS and First Responders

With fire season ramping up again in California, firefighters and first responders will likely face more tragic circumstances and may even be suffering post traumatic stress or moral injury from the state's last two years of devastating fire events.

A study done by the Ruderman Family Foundation has revealed that first responders are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. In 2017, there were at least 103 firefighter suicides and 140 police officer suicides. In contrast, 93 firefighters and 129 police officers died in the line of duty. Suicide is a result of mental illness, including depression and PTS, which stems from constant exposure to death and destruction.

Last year almost 300 first responders took their own lives and with fire season ramping up again...we’re thinking about all of the firefighters and first responders who worked on the camp fire last year and in southern California and the post traumatic stress of those event.

We talked to Dr. Mindy Keenan a psychologist who specializes in post traumatic stress and moral injury. She runs the Center for Post Traumatic Growth in Rancho Cordova.

Cristina Mendonsa

Cristina Mendonsa

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