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Paramedic Suicides

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Wikipedia is not a reliable source.

Nobody has argued that EMS is leading the category of suicide by profession.

US EMS/First responder suicide rates are likely underreported. There's no really accurate representation of suicide by EMS/first responders in the US. To argue numbers without numbers to argue is futile. That being said, we use the numbers we have to point to the idea that 400 deaths in the US, 34 in Canada and countless others around the world, all of which are preventable, and all of which were dedicated people working to help others, is too many.

Mental health issues are still stigmatized and negatively viewed by many despite recent efforts to make it known that this is a health issue and not something by which anyone should be shamed. Four hundred thirty four people may be dead. That may not be a lot in the grand scheme of things. But those 434 touched thousands of lives and that impact has to be worth something more than a casual dismissal.

MTA: Two last thoughts as this discussion is making me think.

1) If 434 deaths between the US and Canada aren't worthy of affecting some change what does the number have to be? 4340? 43400?

2) I disagree with the idea that EMS would have the lowest number because we see how precious life is. We see some of the worst that civilian humanity can offer. Military medical folks see the worst that an armed and militant humanity can offer. We may see how previous life is. But seeing that on a daily, regular basis gets old and affects people in different ways. It wears you down and grinds you to a pulp. That's what some develop PTSD. That why some wind up with life altering depression. Ultimately, that's why some choose to kill themselves.

Edited by paramedicmike
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if 400 (to use your exagerated number)

How did I exaggerate? 400 is a perfectly reasonable number using the scientific method of extrapolation. The population of Canada is 35 million, the population of the Unites States what? 350 million? The United States has roughly 10 times the population that Canada does. Using the method of extrapolation I come up with ten times the number for suicide. 340. The other 60 are for the people who have actually had to work with you and deal with you on a personal level.

I don't know why I bother trying to reason with assholes like you. Letting myself be dragged into bullshit like this is one reason I left this site. Apparently I haven't learned to deal with that yet.

Edited by Arctickat

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EVen though the numbers of suicides in EMS Is not considered epidemic I bet you ask anyone who has been directly affected by this situation and they will tell you that it seems like an epidemic.

Just becuase the numbers are low does not mean that an epidemic is not occurring.

the three times I've been directly affected by suicide in ems, all three were directly preventable had the provider have come out and asked for help.

Dammit, the denial in our industry is fucking disturbing and it pisses me off.

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Remember one thing Trevor:

unlike working for a nice family owned business such as yours::

the folks that deny it is a problem probably work for those crappy companies who stage their employees / slaves in Mickey D's parking lots or convenience store / gas stn parking lots to save on having a station for them to operate out of . they brainwash their lackeys to believe it is good for response times instead of saving the company $$$.

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Are stress related issues a problem in EMS no matter the country? Yes.

Are suicides due to work underreported across all professions? Yes.

Are EMS workers at higher risk of a work-stress related problem than the general public? Yes.

Do we as a profession need to do better at acknowledging this and making resources available? Hell yes.

Is mikeymedic actually a little kid posting from his mama's basement who should be patted on the head and told to visit the real world one of these days? More and more I say yes.

Edited by triemal04
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https://www.facebook.com/NocturnalMedic/photos/a.218241281588116.54069.217814264964151/794761313936107/?type=1&theater

Mr. Sharp, 29, of Philadelphia, died Wednesday, February 11, 2015 in Demopolis, Alabama.

He was a lifelong resident of Neshoba County. He was a graduate of Neshoba Central High School and East Central Community College. He worked as a flight paramedic for Air Evac Lifeteam in Demopolis, Alabama and also as a paramedic for Metro Ambulance Service in Meridian. Mr. Sharp was a member of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church and a member of Linwood Volunteer Fire Department.

Survivors include his girlfriend, Courtney Townsend of Forest; parents, Danny and Penny Sharp of Philadelphia; sister, Amy Sharp of Brandon; paternal grandparents, Ed and Martha Sharp of Philadelphia; aunt, Gail Turner (Steve) of Philadelphia; uncles, Brad Permenter (Jimmie) of Philadelphia and Walt Permenter (Marie) of Philadelphia and several cousins.

Mr. Sharp was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Ed and Marlene Permenter.

Pallbearers will be Ryan Turner, Wesley Spears, Thomas Tinsley, Mark Pankratz, Coker Fulton, Byron Tullos, Chris Fortune and Clark Hodge. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the EMS community and Linwood Volunteer Fire Department.

Edited by Arctickat

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https://www.facebook.com/NocturnalMedic/photos/a.218241281588116.54069.217814264964151/794761313936107/?type=1&theater

Mr. Sharp, 29, of Philadelphia, died Wednesday, February 11, 2015 in Demopolis, Alabama.

He was a lifelong resident of Neshoba County. He was a graduate of Neshoba Central High School and East Central Community College. He worked as a flight paramedic for Air Evac Lifeteam in Demopolis, Alabama and also as a paramedic for Metro Ambulance Service in Meridian. Mr. Sharp was a member of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church and a member of Linwood Volunteer Fire Department.

Survivors include his girlfriend, Courtney Townsend of Forest; parents, Danny and Penny Sharp of Philadelphia; sister, Amy Sharp of Brandon; paternal grandparents, Ed and Martha Sharp of Philadelphia; aunt, Gail Turner (Steve) of Philadelphia; uncles, Brad Permenter (Jimmie) of Philadelphia and Walt Permenter (Marie) of Philadelphia and several cousins.

Mr. Sharp was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Ed and Marlene Permenter.

Pallbearers will be Ryan Turner, Wesley Spears, Thomas Tinsley, Mark Pankratz, Coker Fulton, Byron Tullos, Chris Fortune and Clark Hodge. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the EMS community and Linwood Volunteer Fire Department.

This is another of the 37 EMS professionals that MikeyMedic doesn't consider being part of a epidemic.

Another one 2 years ago was Van Burkholder of Butler Mo.

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http://globalnews.ca/video/1816811/survey-looks-at-paramedic-ptsd-and-suicide


http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/canadian-paramedics-are-the-most-likely-citizens-to-develop-ptsd

If a paramedic is still experiencing symptoms of CIS 30 days after the initial traumatizing event, they can then be diagnosed with PTSD. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, about eight percent of Canadians have PTSD. That number rises to 10 percent when you factor in soldiers returning from combat. However, in emergency service workers like paramedics, fire fighters, nurses and doctors, the number jumps even higher: they're two times more likely than the average citizen to be affected.A 2012 study on Ottawa emergency service workers found that paramedics were at the highest risk of developing PTSD.

Paramedics are more than twice as likely to develop PTSD, Depression and be at risk for suicide than veterans returning from war.

Edited by Arctickat

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Speaking from experience, there is next to no assistance available for responders. There is a new group called "Sheepdogs" that claims to be specifically set up to help first responders and veterans with PTSD, depression, anxiety or any other problem. They also reach out to perform disaster relief since their members are already trained and ready to go. I tried three times to get help from them with no response at all. I looked for PTSD groups in my area but since I am not a veteran, there are none available. My favorite questions when I am looking for assistance are "what branch did you serve in?" and "what could possibly have been that bad?" Lesson learned. I'm on my own.

As for the numbers, there are many things that skew them. I feel certain that the problem in Canada is farther reaching than anyone suspects since suicides are not technically LODDs. I know of two in my area over the last five years, but many more left the business permanently damaged. I know one that disintegrated on a call. I was not present, but those that were said that there didn't seem to be anything special about it. No fatalities, no grisly scene, no kids, just a minor traffic accident. To this day, we don't fully know or understand why a responder that was by all accounts, happy, healthy, and strong just quit mid call. Thankfully, he was a FF, so he got a medical retirement. To this day, he has nothing to do with any of us he worked with for many years. I have known several others that have left in a less dramatic fashion, but simply stated that they couldn't do it anymore. Those that leave, don't count in the suicide numbers since they weren't on the job at the time.

This business still has a hero complex, it hides what doesn't fit the image. Personally, I have never felt like a hero. I'm just a shmoe doing a job that was appealing at one time but now I'm too old and under-trained to do anything else, so I stay. Don't take that wrong, I am still committed to being the best that I can, but given the opportunity, I would leave in a heartbeat.

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