Texas motorcycle club rides for Code Green Campaign
The EMS Roaddocs riding club event raises awareness of PTSD, depression, and substance abuse among EMS professionals
AUSTIN, Texas — An EMS Roaddocs Riding Club event raises awareness of PTSD, depression, and substance abuse, a significant problem facing EMS professionals.
EMS Roaddocs wants first responders everywhere to know they are not forgotten and they don't have to suffer in silence, reports myFOXaustin.
"We're hoping to make a change today," said Guy Minshall, president of the EMS Roaddocs Riding Club Texas.
The Saturday event at Cowboy Harley Davidson in South Austin was a fundraiser for the Code Green Campaign.
"About one in five first responders do suffer from PTSD, about one-third of first responders suffer from partial PTSD. We're looking at suicide rates of about one first responder every two and a half days," said Fiona Campbell, secretary of the Code Green Campaign.
"We want to change that one every two and a half days to none every two and a half days," said Minshall.
The best way to change that, according to Code Green professionals, is to start talking about mental health issues within first responder agencies.
"A lot of agencies don't start to do anything until they have a suicide. So what we'd like to see is agencies be proactive instead of reactive and take care of their providers and provide options for their providers to address possible mental health concerns before someone is at the point of suicide or already having committed suicide," said Campbell.
For EMS professionals, asking for support may not come easy. Campbell said ignoring the problem will not make it go away.
"We're tough, we're heroes, we don't like to mention that we might have problems so we tend to hide it," said Campbell.
"I think they take those demons home with them and it catches up and they just have too much. So we want people to open up their mouths and talk about it and maybe their peers can recognize signs of PTSD," said Minshall.
Minshall wants first responders everywhere to remember they are not invincible.
"We're all human at the end of the day. Our blood is just as red as everybody else's," Minshall.
Safe Call Now is a hotline specifically for first responders, run by first responders and their families. Reach Safe Call Now 24/7 at 1-877-230-6060.