The power of self-care and empathy

A paramedic shares how the opioid epidemic triggered a mental health crisis, and how emotional care has helped

By OC87 Recovery Diaries

OC87 Recovery Diaries is an interactive website that features stories of mental health, empowerment and change.

In this segment, Ian Stoddart, a paramedic for 32 years, advocates practicing empathy for positive mental health. This is his first responder recovery story. For Ian, a particularly tragic call involving a young woman’s death by drug overdose triggered his mental health crisis.

Self-care and empathy were keys to his recovery. Now, as Ian teaches EMTs and paramedics, empathy and emotional care are priorities in his curriculum. 

“Emotional care is 90% of a paramedic’s job. That’s how it should be,” Ian says, “but that gets lost sometimes.” Read more of Ian's story as a paramedic here.

Read next: 5 things EMS providers should know about seeking mental health treatment

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