Advancing the EMS profession

EMS Mental Health

EMS practitioners face challenging and traumatic events that can impact their mental well being each and every day. The mounting effect of patient needs, family, long workdays, nutrition, physical health, and sleep deprivation all contribute to an individual’s sense of wellness.

To assist EMS practitioners in recognizing, managing and seeking assistance for mental health issues, we have assembled the following resources. Use these resources to become more familiar with mental health issues and the needs of others, such as your patients and co-workers.

Treatment and Prevention ProgramsAmbulance Victoria Mental Health and Wellbeing StrategyThe AV Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy provides a three-year roadmap toward creating a mentally healthy workplace and improving the mental health of its practitioners.
Website informationK9s For Warriors - Because Together We StandK9s For Warriors program pairs rescue dogs with military veterans suffering from PTSD.
Website informationHelping Friends Be More Sensitive to First Responder PTSDAfter years of service, firefighters and EMTs often suffer from both acute and chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The fire service has taken significant steps to help firefighters deal with trauma and PTSD.
Treatment and prevention programsSubstance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit
Website informationSupporting the Emotional Wellbeing of First Responders, Emergency Managers and Disaster Relief PersonnelInformation and resources on how to respond to the emotional well-being of first responders, emergency managers, and disaster relief personnel who support communities impacted by disasters.
Website informationSubstance abuse information and is committed to using evidence-based methods that encourage people to find the support they need.
ResearchNAEMT 2016 National Survey on EMS Mental Health ServicesFindings of a national survey conducted to determine what services EMS agencies provide to EMS practitioners to help them cope with job stress, maintain their mental wellbeing, and seek help when needed.
Website informationDrugRehab.comInformation on drug addiction of many varieties and options for help, including treatment and support.
Website informationNational Alliance on Mental IllnessNAMI offers a hotline (800-950-6264), information on mental illness, and options for help.
Website informationSuicide Prevention ResourcesSuicide Prevention Resource Center
ResearchSupporting Responders to Effectively Deal with Atypically Stressful EventsTIM Network report on effects of traumatic event on first responders
ResearchMental Health and Stress in Emergency Medical Services NEMSMA report cites survey that found 37% had considered suicide, much higher than the general population Date published: February 2016
ArticleWho Takes Care of the CaregiversNAEMT News feature article on resources to help EMS practitioners struggling with mental illness
ArticleHospital Workers Find Solace in Pausing After a DeathKaiser Health News article describes how taking a moment to acknowledge a patient's death helps healthcare workers cope
ArticleSurvey Reveals Alarming Rates of EMS Provider Stress and Thoughts of SuicideFitch & Associates’ Ambulance Service Manager Program developed a survey distributed nationwide.
Treatment and prevention programsInternational Critical Incident and Stress Foundation (ICISF)provides leadership, education, training, consultation, and support services in comprehensive crisis intervention and disaster behavioral health services to the emergency response professions.
Assistance by phoneNational Suicide Prevention Hotline1-800-273-8255 - 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
Website informationAmerican Foundation for Suicide Preventionorganization that funds research, creates educational programs, advocates for public policy, and supports survivors of suicide loss
Website informationAmerican Association of Suicidologyadvances science and programs in suicide prevention through research, education and training, the development of standards and resources, and survivor support services.
Website informationInternational Association of Suicide Preventionlargest international organization dedicated to suicide prevention and to the alleviation of the effects of suicide.
Treatment and prevention programsStress First AidFlexible multi-step process for timely assessment and preclinical response to psychological injuries in individuals to provide support and save lives.
Website informationNational Center for PTSDdedicated to research and education on trauma and PTSD.
Assistance by phoneSAMHSA Disaster Distress Hotlineprovides 24/7, year-round crisis counseling and support. Call 1-800-985-5990. TTY for deaf/hearing impaired: 1-800-846-8517. Text TalkWithUs to 66746.
Website informationCDC Emergency Preparedness and Responseresources for first responders for coping with disaster and traumatic events
Treatment and prevention programsMental Health First AidAn 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps you identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.