First Responder Support

Are you a First Responder in Katy, West Houston,  Harris County or Ft. Bend County experiencing any of the following?

  • Depression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Anger
  • Grief
  • Low sex drive
  • Survivor’s Guilt
  • Spousal/Partner Conflict
  • Infidelity
  • Parenting Issues
  • Self-Medicating
  • Angry outbursts
  • Marital separation or Divorce
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Anxiety
  • Oversleeping
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Increase rate of illness
  • Substance Misuse
  • Substance Abuse
  • Irritation, irrationality, impatience

Did you choose this job to help and now wonder why you feel so lost, hopeless, and empty?

We know that when first responders enter the industry they are educated regarding the range and details of situations they will face. We know that they are trained, even, in burn out prevention and self-care.

However, you can take off the uniform, gloves, or stethoscope but you can’t take off the culture. It’s not just a job role, it’s an identity and a calling. You “solve problems for others” but “don’t have any of your own.” When you do dare to admit there is a problem, you often feel alone in a crowd. Most First Responder groups elevate bravery, resiliency, and strength and helping others over admitting your own need for help.

Fire fighters, police, medical professionals, and military use these traits to cover and mask any mental health symptoms. Your job role demands that you protect the health, safety, and wellness of others, but that often looks like ignoring your own. I know that you fear a career impact and loss of status if you look for help. You even fear for the mental health of the mental health professional. You may be concerned about if we can they handle hearing what you need to talk about?

WE GET IT.

But your job culture doesn’t change biology and physiology of repeated stress, trauma, and physical demands.

When a human being experiences, observes, witnesses, or is subject to the details of events that are destructive, violent, traumatic, or grotesque that human’s brain’s chemistry is immediately impacted, which then changes the neural networks and pathways and the person. The First Responder becomes – literally – a different person than they would have been. One major event or the cumulative impact of events can lead to changes in health that impact their ability to serve in their job, to function in their other roles at home and in the community.

Untreated, the impact of trauma can progressively deteriorate the First Responder’s mental wellness and daily life. Unfortunately, many professional settings do not offer enough support, education, and options to be proactive in response to the demands and known stress of the First Responder’s job role.

Even efforts to help, such as debriefing, can cause harm in the form of vicarious trauma which occurs when peers experience a trauma response when they are exposed to the details of their peer’s traumatic event.

First Responders have additional stressors to mind, body, and soul which include:

  • Health impact of shift work
  • Inadequate training
  • Stressed leadership
  • Work related sleep deprivation and disruption
  • Technical problems such as poor equipment and antiquated systems
  • Personnel, support, and staffing issues
  • Inconsistent policies and procedures

In my specialized program to help First Responders, I have developed a program to help: firefighters, police officers, military personnel, corrections officers, EMT’s, dispatchers, doctors, nurses, and public safety professionals.

I work with first responders individually and (if necessary) with their leadership and management teams to provide proactive, informed, and evidence-based care. I offer departments and teams educational seminars on stress management, anger, family wellness, maintaining spirituality when the details of work duty may need it, as well as topics on more acute issues such as PTSD, substance use, and relationship discord.

 

My goal for you as individuals and as teams in the community is to restore Compassion Satisfaction:

Compassion satisfaction (CS) refers to the sense of fulfillment you feel for the work you do. It can be a source of hope, strength, and ultimately resilience. This satisfaction with your work is also what allows you to face another day, another disaster, another tragedy. It is the quiet knowledge that what you do makes a difference, and that you possess the same strengths you see and support in the survivors with whom you work.

 



24618 Kingsland Blvd 2nd Floor, Room 8
Katy, TX 77494
On the left hand side of the CLS building

recoverytherapist@joanneketch.com
(281) 740-7563


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