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Stress On-The-Job

In the US, estimates for annual law enforcement suicides range between 150 to 500. While suicides are thankfully dropping, they’re a known issue among police departments. For firefighters, a steady onslaught of life-or-death situations and high levels of stress can develop into symptoms of PTSD. And for certified EMS professionals, dealing with stress-related symptoms of depression and anxiety is far more common than among the general population.

There’s no question that this is normal – it’s not unprecedented, and to mental health professionals, it’s not particularly surprising. Furthermore, without beating around the bush, symptoms of depression and anxiety and even cases of post-traumatic stress are natural when working under the high levels of stress and responsibility associated with public service.

It becomes a problem when it isn’t treated or addressed properly. And that’s the real clincher – while the facts clearly show a correlation between being in public service and suffering from mental instability due to constant stress, there is little treatment and far too much stigma surrounding open discussion of these issues.

Instead, some studies have shown that there is often a “suck it up” culture encouraging the ignoring of these issues, perhaps to suffocate them or take away their legitimacy. Sadly, it’s not that easy. Mental health issues affect one in five Americans, and are a fact of life for millions – it’s not wrong to struggle with them. Pretending they’re not happening, however, is extremely detrimental.

Illness not Insanity

In general, the consensus among scientists, statisticians, and mental health professionals is that there is a palpable stigma against being mentally ill. And among certain public sectors, that stigma may even be more pronounced. There is a real effort to hide symptoms of anxiety and depression in the workplace out of fear that it might affect your relationship with coworkers, your reliability, and credibility, and your chances at a future in the police force, hospital setting, fire department or local government.

These fears aren’t unfounded, either. The stigma against mental illness extends to the fact that people fear to hire someone who may be mentally unstable, for obvious reasons. Yet we must understand that mental illness is not always insanity or instability. Often, it just means someone needs help to emotionally digest the realities of their situation.

That’s what we at Vantage Point are here for. To help you better understand that you don’t have to be afraid to get treatment and that you most definitely should get help once you feel your job taking its toll on you.

That’s what we at Vantage Point are here for. To help you better understand that you don’t have to be afraid to get treatment and that you most definitely should get help once you feel your job taking its toll on you.

In fact, it’s not just in your best interest to get help. To better serve and protect your community, and be an integral part of society, it’s important to remain healthy – both physically and mentally. You can’t do your job right if you’re plagued by symptoms of depression, anxiety and more.

Vantage Point for Those Who Serve

Vantage Point is a treatment center, and just like most other treatment centers, we specialize in diversifying our options for treatment and utilize the latest in available psychiatric research to help our patients get better, so they can live life without the oppressive threat of mental illness. But, we also have a core philosophy – something that makes us unique. And that is that we believe everyone is equally as unique – that every case should be approached objectively, with the pure intent of helping others. Like you, we live to serve our community and our patients.

We understand the general issues surrounding those who choose to serve in the public sector – and we know how dangerous it can be to ignore these issues. We also understand that every case is individually different. Your job may only be part of the reason you’re dealing with negative thoughts and even thoughts of suicide – mental health issues are complicated in that they have several factors, plausible causes, and that one issue may be either the cause of or the result of a different diagnosis. Unraveling all of this can be painful, difficult, and a struggle all unto itself – but it will help you heal, become better at your job, and be at peace with who you are.