Stigma has been described as one of the largest barriers for those who have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, with negative consequences impacting all facets of life, including the workplace. Although many population-based anti-stigma initiatives exist, the need for workplace interventions is being recognized, particularly as the financial costs of mental disorders in the workplace mount. Specific workplace-focused programs are emerging to address this need. The present paper describes efforts to reduce the stigma related to mental disorders in the workplace. Following the review, suggestions are made for future workplace anti-stigma interventions, as well as a discussion of considerations for researchers who evaluate such programs.
By Sgt. John Rogowski
What is a Disabled Police Officer? He or she is “Lucky,” “A Scammer,” “Faking It,” “Has Hit The Jackpot,” “ Malingering,” “ Making it Worse Than it is,” “Lazy,” “Trying to Get Out of Work,” and the names go on and on… If you have become permanently “Disabled in The Line of Duty” perhaps you have been called one of these names, or similar ones, to your face.
The obligations on employers, constructors and other workplace stakeholders once a workplace accident occurs are heavy. The Occupational Health and Safety Act (the “Act”) requires that these parties take positive actions immediately from the time that an accident occurs. These actions can have important implications for later legal proceedings. Failing to comply with these obligations is itself a breach of the Act and can lead to legal liability distinct from and in addition to any liability flowing from the accident.
By Lt. James Kieran
Different generations are motivated differently due to different frames of reference. While it is essential to understand the differences in the people that you lead, there are far more similarities then you may think. The basics still remain the same.
In this phenomenological study, the essence of being a first responder spouse was described through the lived experiences of the participants. The objective of this phenomenological study was to answer the question, “What is the experience of being the spouse of a first responder?” The qualitative results identified significant barriers and stressors that exist within the first responder family system and implications for clinical practice with this population.
Conventional wisdom suggests that repeated traumatic exposure should strongly relate to increased posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. However, research with first responders, who are repeatedly exposed to traumatic events, finds inconsistent links to PTSD. A total of 69 firefighters with differing duty-related traumatic-exposure were tested on an innovative performance-based regulatory choice flexibility paradigm and evaluated for PTSD symptoms using clinical interviews.
First responders are generally considered to be at greater risk for full or partial posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than most other occupations because their duties routinely entail confrontation with traumatic stressors. These critical incidents typically involve exposure to life threat, either directly or as a witness. There is a substantial literature that has examined the risk factors, symptom presentation, course, and comorbidities of PTSD in this population. However, to our knowledge, there are no systematic reviews of treatment studies for first responders. We conducted a systematic review of the PTSD treatment literature (English and non-English) in order to evaluate such treatment proposals based on what is known about treating PTSD in first responders.
Responding to critical incidents may result in 5.9–22 % of first responders developing psychological trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder. These impacts may be physical, mental, and/or behavioral. This population remains at risk, given the daily occurrence of critical incidents. Given the multiplicity of impacts from psychological trauma and the inadequacies of responder treatment intervention research thus far, this paper proposes a paradigmatic shift from single/double treatment interventions to a multi-modal approach to first responder victim needs. A conceptual framework based on psychological trauma is presented and possible multi-modal interventions selected from the limited, extant first responder research are utilized to illustrate how the approach would work and to encourage clinical and experimental research into first responder treatment needs.
This study examines the extent of DSM-IV PTSD 11–13 years after the disaster in WTC responders, its symptom profiles and trajectories, and associations of active, remitted and partial PTSD with exposures, physical health and psychosocial well-being.
First responders routinely experience work-related events that meet the definition of a traumatic stressor. Despite the high exposure to traumatic events, prevalence rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are relatively low. This discrepancy points to the potential value of identifying factors that distinguish those traumatic stressors that produce ongoing traumatic stress symptoms from those that do not. The present study surveyed 181 first responders from rural settings. A repeated-measures design was used to compare characteristics of traumatic stressors that were or were not associated with ongoing PTSD symptoms.
The current study was a systematic review examining probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in first responders following man-made mass violence. A systematic literature search yielded 20 studies that fit the inclusion criteria. The prevalence rates of probable PTSD across all 20 studies ranged from 1.3% to 22.0%. This paper is meant to serve as a call for additional research and to encourage more breadth in the specific incidents that are examined.
Firefighters participate in activities with intense physical and psychological stress. The occupational obligations may be responsible for the psychological and musculoskeletal problems experienced by firefighters. Early recognition and response to psychosomatic issues in firefighters is of high importance.
Norway experienced two terror attacks on July 22, 2011. A car bomb exploded in the Oslo government district killing eight people. Shortly after, 69 adolescents gathered at a political youth camp were shot and killed at Utøya Island. First responders were exposed to multiple risk factors for the development of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS).
This study sought to examine the prevalence of sudden gains and deteriorations (i.e., symptom reduction/improvement during treatment) and their influence on treatment outcomes among World Trade Center responders with probable posttraumatic stress disorder. Thirty-six outpatient clients received at least three sessions of integrative psychotherapy, which included elements of psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches, under routine clinical conditions.
First responders—police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and paramedics—experience significant job-related stressors and exposures that may confer increased risk for mental health morbidities (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], suicidal thoughts and behaviors) and hastened mortality (e.g., death by suicide). Inherent in these occupations, however, are also factors (e.g., camaraderie, pre-enlistment screening) that may inoculate against the development or maintenance of psychiatric conditions.
First responders are an often ignored group facing emotional and physical stress that is similar to that of law enforcement personnel and military veterans. Fifty first responder employees were invited to participate in the study, of which 34 completed the following psychological and biological measures. A substantial portion of first responders met criteria for PTSD and anxiety. Assessing the impact of these conditions may best be achieved through physical health measures (cortisol, BMI, heart rate) in addition to psychometric screening tools (PCL, CESD, STICSA).
In the heart of National Mental Health Week, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) have announced an agreement to provide mental health training to the energy provider’s employees.
The agreement supports the training of up to 2,000 OPG employees in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a certificate program managed in this country by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.