BRADFORD- First responders are 10 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.
First responders are always there to help us, now the community is learning to how to help them.
“We are here to provide some information to the community and loved ones of first responders and that way they can learn a little more about how to support their first responders in their life,” said Emily Genever, a mental health clinician and former first responder.
Data shows in 2017, at least 243 first responders died by suicide.
That’s one of the reasons dozens of community members from the greater Bangor area gathered to learn about symptoms of PTSD in first responders.
“It can really range depending on the person, but you’re talking about behavioral changes, the severity of flashbacks and nightmares, and struggling to cope with little things,” Genever said.
Tuesday night’s class also talked about what happens to the brain following trauma and the importance of communication.
“I want people to understand what they go through day to day,” said Morgan Littlefield, a family member of a first responder. “Every call. Every fire. Some people don’t understand it. I want to help them understand that it’s not them wanting to be paid, it’s them wanting to help the people of their community.”
Genever says she hopes to hold more classes like this one in the future.