As a clinical psychologist, I appreciate the dedicated work of our first responders – the paramedics, firefighters, police officers, military members, emergency dispatchers, nurses, correctional officers, and others working in professions focused on keeping those in our community healthy and safe. For these people, work can mean regular close encounters with danger, chaos, and unfixable human suffering. These experiences can, at times, negatively impact mental health, sometimes leading to psychological disorders, relationship difficulties and/or substance issues.
There is a high potential cost to caring, but also potential for personal fulfillment and growth.
Broadly speaking, psychologists working in various settings are available to provide support to first responders, military members and their families in a number of ways. At the CAMH Work, Stress and Health Program, psychologists work on a multidisciplinary team with psychiatrists, occupational therapists, social workers, pharmacists, physicians, and other wonderful support and administrative staff to address the specific mental healthcare needs of these unique clients. It is a privilege to work with first responders to ensure they are healthy, happy and well.
Psychologists at our clinic play an active role in maintaining and facilitating the health and wellness of our first responders in many different ways: