Assisting Emergency Responders
Police Officers, Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians and other Responders are dedicated, trained professionals who place themselves in harm’s way to assist others through crises, dangerous and sometimes life threatening situations. While they often are more stress tolerant and resilient than the rest of us, they are not immune to the effects of traumatic stress, job related stress, and the same stressors that affect all of us in our personal and family lives. Over a career, a Police Officer, Firefighter or other Responder may be exposed to dozens or even hundreds of traumatic events that could cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in any one of us. As a result of exposure to multiple traumatic stressors, Responders are at risk to develop PTSD, Depression, Panic and Anxiety Disorders, or Alcohol or Substance Use Disorders.
Because of personal and cultural barriers, feelings of personal weakness or failure, fears of stigmatization, altered assignment or loss of career, many Police Officers or Firefighters suffer in silence. As a closed group of professionals, they often feel as though outsiders, even family friends or mental health professionals don’t understand them and won’t be able to help. If a responder overcomes these obstacles to seeking assistance for a personal or stress related problem, too often he or she may feel that the psychiatrist or psychotherapist just doesn’t understand their profession, the job related stressors and culture in which they work. The psychiatrists at Long Island Behavioral Medicine have extensive experience over many years working with Police Officers, Firefighters, EMTs and other Responders. Frank Dowling, MD, the President of LIBM has seen and treated over 200 Police Officers over the last 15 years and has seen hundreds of Officers during individual and group crisis intervention after shootings, serious accidents, officer suicides and after the events of 9/11/01 and Hurricane Katrina. Frank Dowling MD and Rachna Sharma MD are privileged to each have treated dozens of Emergency Responders who served at Ground Zero and the vicinity on 9/11/01 and the following months.
Because of their extensive experience with Police Officers, Firefighters, EMTs and other Responders, the professionals of Long Island Behavioral Medicine are uniquely qualified to help Police Officers, Firefighters, EMTs and other responders to deal with stress related problems.
If you are a Responder and want to schedule an appointment, call us at 631-656-0472.