In recognition of June as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis issued a proclamation on Monday recognizing the mental health challenges facing Florida’s first responders.
First responders are more likely to develop PTSD compared to the general public due to their exposure to significant traumatic incidents incurred in the line of duty.
]“Every day, 365 days a year, seven days a week, our first responders are the frontlines of our communities, responding to emergency calls. On a daily basis, they see awful things that most people will not see in an entire lifetime. PTSD within our first responder community is real and firefighters alone attempt suicide at a much higher rate than the general population. These heroes encounter unthinkable tragedy on the job as they work day and night to protect our communities. We expect them to be there for us on our worst day, and we must be there for them on theirs. Let’s come together to raise awareness and provide support and resources for our first responders to ensure no one fights alone,” Patronis said.
The proclamation can be viewed below:
WHEREAS, individuals with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended and can relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares leaving them sad, angry and detached from other people; and
WHEREAS, untreated PTSD from any trauma will unlikely disappear and can contribute to chronic pain, depression and alcohol abuse, sleep problems and may impede a person’s ability to work or interact socially with others; and
WHEREAS, almost 8 million people in the United States suffer from PTSD with an estimated 7 or 8 people out of every 100 developing PTSD in their lifetime effecting more women than men; and
WHEREAS, first responders are generally considered to be at greater risk for full or partial PTSD than most other occupations because their duties routinely entail confrontation with traumatic stressors; and
WHEREAS, firefighters alone are attempting suicide at a rate five times higher than the general population and first responders as a whole are attempting suicide at rate more than ten times higher than the general population; and
WHEREAS, Florida recognized the need for services and benefits for our first responders suffering from PTSD and implemented legislation in 2019 addressing this underserved population; and
WHEREAS, it is never too late to get treatment for PTSD with many more options available today than were available even a year ago; and
WHEREAS, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month is intended to raise public awareness about issues related to PTSD, reduce the stigma associated with PTSD, and help ensure that those suffering from the invisible wounds receive proper treatment.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal of the State of Florida recognizes the month of June as POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER AWARENESS MONTH and encourage those that are silently suffering to get the assistance they need to live a healthy and productive life.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF the Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal of the State of Florida has hereunto subscribed his name and has caused the Official Seal of the State of Florida to be hereunto affixed in the City of Tallahassee on the 7th day of June 2021.