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State Of Florida Grants Worker’s Comp To First Responders With PTSD

State Of Florida Grants Worker’s Comp To First Responders With PTSD

The topic of post-traumatic stress disorder becomes more popular and prevalent after a mass tragedy, like the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting which took place in February of 2018. Most often, the trauma of the survivors are discussed. In this particular case, the trauma of the young teenagers, as well as the many teachers, who survived that day is worth discussing. Florida saw a sharp increase in the number of Baker Act calls for young people, which forces Florida residents into an involuntary mental health evaluation and up to 72 hours of lockdown psychiatric care. Surviving students had to go back to school eventually, many of them suffering from the symptoms of trauma.

First-responders, hospital staff, police, and other professionals on the scene do not get the same attention when it comes to discussions about mental health, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder. Though first-responders are not there during the traumatic event, they are there immediately after the event takes place or show up while the event is still taking place. What first responders see, what first responders do, and how first responders are forced to cope in the present moment, takes a toll on their mental health. After witnessing gruesome, gory, especially traumatizing scenes or events, first responders struggle to bounce back to work. Most first responders, however, are unable to take unpaid time off from work in order to rest and recuperate.

On March 27, 2018, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law which would change how first responders are able to care for their mental health following a traumatizing job. The bill expands worker’s compensation benefits to cover treatment for PTSD that does not have to include the presence of a physical injury. Paramedics, firefighters, and law-enforcement officers are included in the bill.

Mass tragedies are not the only trauma that first-responders encounter. Every day, there are traumatic events taking place in the world, to which first-responders answer the call. Few, if any, of these daily events make national headline new the way a mass tragic event does. For these taxing moments of everyday professional life, first-responders deserve covered mental health treatment.

The Center for Professional Recovery offers the Professional Treatment Program, designed specifically to address the unique needs of professionals, like first-responders. Our programs are designed to treat co-occurring disorders which might arise and restore first-responders in a way which allows them to return to work and continue taking care of their mental health. For information on our full continuum of care for professionals, call us today: (855) 422-4129

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