Individuals in helping professions, such as First Responders, have difficulty taking time for themselves. They are taught to “be brave” and that reaching out for help is a sign of weakness. Yet, one of the bravest acts of any human being is to reach out and accept support.
No person, no matter what their background or training, is immune to stress and the impact it has on the mind and body. If we continue to ignore the need for providing coping mechanisms in the type of work that First Responders, and Military Personnel face daily, we will continue to see social media posts of officers using excessive force and aggression. We will continue to perpetuate a culture of community members perceiving law enforcement as the enemy. We will continue to create a divide between the community and those who are sworn to protect it. We will continue to see homeless veterans in an out of the ER from heroine overdoses. We will continue to see the number of suicides in law enforcement, fire, and the military rise. We will continue to see the “brave” deteriorating and dying.
Passivity will not increase the value in these individuals lives. They are trained to protect our lives, yet we treat them as dispensable and disposable objects. Your life matters to these helpers when: you are trapped in a crushed vehicle on the highway, when your son is choking in the middle of the night, when your father is having chest pains, when your country is being threatened…
When do their lives matter to you?