I added this page because we have folks among us who are fearful of asking for help, and I thought this would be a good place to offer some help without anyone knowing you were seeking it.
The trouble with suffering from depression is it can be extremely difficult asking for help. People can even become quite defensive if help is offered and try to avoid it, seemingly at all costs. I suspect the reason is fear or denial of the problem or of how it will affect their personal relationships both at work and at home. Perhaps even subconsciously; and as it has been pointed out, there is a “Clark Kent” syndrome present within the fire service culture.
I have heard it said “the bravest thing a firefighter does is becoming a firefighter, after that everything is in the line of duty” and I can relate. I hate being called a hero. Everyone looks to you for answers. Yet how difficult is it to come forward and say “I need help, not because of danger on the fire ground but because of emotional issues?” This is not something that is in the line of duty to save the life of a civilian but to save your own life, on your own time. We did not sign up to ask for help, and we are expected to be strong for those who need our help. It can be hard to turn that off. It takes courage to say I need help emotionally.
To all of you my brothers and sisters in the fire service, I ask you to remember the mantra “Brother Hood.” It means, whatever it takes, we are family, here for each other, to trust each other, and lean on each other for support. We go into fires in teams, because we have to in order to survive and accomplish our goal of saving lives. Those teams though, don’t end when the call is over.
You have taken the first step, you opened this page. Use the links here for help but don't try to go it alone. Please ask for help. God Bless you and stay safe.
7 Reasons Crying Can Be Healing
CRITIACAL INCIDENT STRESS
Head Strong: The importance of mental wellbeing
Mental Health Challenges We Face
This page has articles and information on PTSD
SAFE CALL NOW 24 Hour Hotline 206-459-3020
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.
Drug/Alcohol treatment, Peer support services, PTSD resources, Suicide resources, General & Family counseling
and other crisis referral services.
Stress and the Dispatcher
SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP