THERE IS HOPE, THERE IS HELP
As First Responders, we see horrors few can imagine. While the call may end, the effects often linger. If we are not careful, sometimes they can push us over the edge. Peer support is the strongest weapon we have in the fight against post-traumatic stress injuries. It is critical that we break the stigma associated with post-traumatic stress injuries and encourage those who need it to seek help. The Peer Support program is designed to make peer support and professional mental health resources easily accessible for all members and their families.
Local 452 has been a leader in the field of Behavioral Health. Your Local 452 Executive Board is committed to continuing this fight to break the silence, and break the stigma. We must continue to educate our members earlier in thier career. We must not only take care of our bodies, but our minds as well. Emotional well-being must be as acceptable and common place as working out in the gym.
In 2017, more firefighters died from suicide than from on-duty events. National surveys suggest nearly one in three firefighters has considered suicide. In many cases, post-traumatic stress injury is the cause, and all too often, our brothers and sisters suffer in silence.
In (Insert date here) Local 452 together with our partners in administration were able to create a Peer Support Program. We continue to work on securing behavioral health resources for our program and department-wide training on behavioral health. In 2019 with the help of our brothers and sisters in the Washington State Council of Firefighters we were able to pass legislation state wide that acknowledges PTSI as an on the job injury. This will be a huge help to all of our members in need.
Your Local 452 Executive Board will continue to fight to ensure that as the bargaining process continues our elected officials and County representatives know that the health and welfare of our members' needs be their number one priority. They need to step up and provide the resources we need to take care of our members, including the formation of a robust Behavioral Health Program.
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