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  • GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - A new study released shows that 84% of first responders have experienced some form of PTSD or depression.
    Updated On: Nov 01, 2017

    A study released by the University of Phoenix says 84% of first responders have experienced PTSD or depression at some point in their lives. Grand Junction Fire Department officials are hoping to combat this issue through their peer support team.

    "Our peer support team consists of five people on the department who help people access services. They can talk confidentially with them if they are having issues. There is also a counselor that we can refer them to and that they can go to," said Jamie Kavanaugh, EMS Officer with the Grand Junction Fire Department. 

    They say these services are provided because they of all people know their job isn't easy.

    "Some of the things we see are awful. The average citizen doesn't have to deal with some of the things that we do," said Lovern.

    As a result, there are several things they do on a daily basis to keep their mental health under control.

    "I'm very physical. I work out and go for a bike ride everyday. I actually have a personal meditation and practice that helps me relax," said Kavanaugh.

    "Morning meetings, morning bantering, joking, and making the job fun," said Lovern.

    Grand Junction Fire Officials say what makes the stress worth while,

    "For all of those awful things we see, there are days where we actually make a difference, save a life, or where CPR actually works. When you see those people walking the streets months later, that's really where this comes into play," said Lovern.

    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    http://www.westernslopenow.com/news/local-news/mental-health-risks-for-first-responders/788513992


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