Supplemental Research Bulletin
First Responders: Behavioral Health Concerns, Emergency Response, and Trauma
Emergency medical services personnel, firefighters, and police officers are often the first on the scene to aid those experiencing disasters and other traumatic situations. Research shows that repeated exposure to such situations, the fast-paced nature of these jobs, and institutional factors can take a toll on first responders' health.
This edition of the Supplemental Research Bulletin reviews existing literature and provides insight into behavioral health issues experienced by first responders. It may be helpful to first responders in maintaining their own health and managers seeking to support the behavioral health of their teams.
The edition reviews current research showing that first responders may experience several behavioral health issues, including depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, suicidality, and substance use, at higher rates than the general population. It also explores behavioral health risk and protective factors in first responders, as well as interventions designed to reduce behavioral health risk in first responders and foster resilience.