A new study in Frontiers in Psychiatry has for the first time, demonstrated differences in the prevalence of post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in different groups of rescue workers and emergency personnel, including firefighters, police officers and psychiatric nurses. The researchers showed that the varying experiences and circumstances these workers encounter, such as handling aggressive people, working with families or dealing with deaths and suicide, are tied to varying levels of PTSS and suicidal thoughts, with emergency department staff and psychiatric nurses showing the highest levels of PTSS and suicidal thoughts out of the emergency professions studied. The findings highlight the urgent need for bespoke training and counseling services across the rescue and emergency industries, which would help staff to cope with the trauma they experience, improving their quality of life and mental wellbeing in such high-risk professions. The study was led by Dr. Leila Soravia and Dr. Thomas Müller at the University of Bern’s Hospital of Psychiatry in Switzerland.
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