END THE STIGMA. In honor of May being National Mental Health Awareness Month, this month’s Health and Safety Bulletin focuses on ending the stigma surrounding EMS provider mental health.  During 2018 to 2019, our research discovered that 3 out of every 5 EMS providers in Virginia believed they experienced burnout, traumatic stress, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal tendencies or some combination of all of these. In other words, you are a minority if you have not experienced a negative mental health outcome as an EMS provider.

This job is tough. Some days are amazing, and some days are not. It is okay to reach out for help.  It is okay to take care of yourself. If you or someone you know is struggling, THERE IS FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL HELP AVAILABLE 24/7 specifically for emergency responders:

Fire/EMS Helpline: 1-888-731-FIRE (3473). The Fire/EMS Helpline was created for first responders by members of the fire service. This program is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of firefighters, EMTs, rescue personnel, and their families.

Emergency Responder Crisis Text Line: Text “BADGE” to 741741. The Emergency Responder Crisis Text Line is a global not-for-profit organization providing free confidential crisis intervention via SMS message.

Learn more about the Make the Call Campaign.