Trauma and stress experienced by first responders is a huge mental health risk


How do first responders manage to witness trauma and violence day in and day out without damaging their mental health and emotional well-being? to be improved, expanded.

The simple and straightforward answer is this: the trauma and stress experienced by first responders actually poses a significant risk to mental health. While garnering little attention, let alone response, we know that law enforcement officers and other first responders face the mental health consequences of relentless exposure to personal danger, violence and to animosity. Over the past three years, the damage to their mental health may have worsened due to increased violence and pandemic-related stress.

One of the reasons for the lack of awareness and support for the emotional well-being of first responders is the stigma associated with mental health issues. At Haymarket Center, addressing stigma is central to our approach to care. Recognizing the importance of fighting stigma and offering resources to address the issue, we stepped up to organize a response.

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This month, we will inaugurate the first in a series of three-day retreats to support law enforcement professionals who have experienced critical incident-related trauma. Retreat is intended to be preventive, protective and very practical. Participants will learn about the symptoms and effects of traumatic stress, practice wellness and resilience strategies, and benefit from a debrief to cope with stress.

They will also learn about eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, an evidence-based treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The Board of Directors, Haymarket Center staff and one of our partners, Embassy Suites, believe that a healthy workforce is essential to keeping us all safe.

This will be one of many such programs for first responders, offered with the belief that mental health resources for them are imperative for truly strong communities.

Dan Lustig, President and CEO, Haymarket Center

The Holocaust is alone

I was left stunned and in disbelief when I read gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey’s comparison between abortion and the Holocaust.

If there is a real legal and political debate on abortion, there is no place in this debate to invoke the horror of the atrocities of the Holocaust, a genocide of 6 million Jewish human beings living in Europe during World War II. The Jewish population of Europe was wiped out. These were people: adults and children, even entire families, whose lives were brutally interrupted and who were victims of starvation, rape, torture, diabolical medical experiments and other unspeakable brutalities. , and mass murder.

If the Nazis had completely succeeded, I wouldn’t be here now to write this message. This is personal to me, and I believe the most dangerous place for a single person’s perception of anti-Semitism to develop is among elected officials.

In support of Governor JB Pritzker, the Jewish citizens of Illinois, and all who care about justice and human rights, I urge politicians, especially Bailey, not to make light-hearted comparisons between the Holocaust and any other historical tragedy. This must be autonomous.

Jeffery M. Leving, Lawyer

The return of Christopher Columbus?

Instead of using taxpayers’ money to protect a non-living statue of Christopher Columbus, why not use that money to protect us from violence? Or just keep the statue in reserve until a time when we can all accept that some of our heroes have flaws.

Tom DeDore, Garfield Ridge

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