NAEMT has published a new report, the 2016 National Survey on EMS Mental Health Services, to inform all EMS stakeholders about the current level of mental health services provided to EMS practitioners. The report gives a snapshot of the services EMS agencies provide to help their EMS practitioners cope with the stress of their job, maintain their mental wellbeing, and also to seek help when they need it.
The findings report is the product of a yearlong review by NAEMT’s EMS Workforce Committee, which studies the issues that impact the ability of our nation’s EMS workforce to provide quality emergency and mobile healthcare.
NAEMT President Conrad “Chuck” Kearns commented, “EMS is an inherently stressful profession and EMS practitioners are often called upon to provide care to patients in horrific circumstances. Raising awareness of the toll on EMS practitioners and identifying improved services to help them cope is a big step toward building resiliency. I encourage everyone to share the report widely within the EMS community and with other healthcare stakeholders.”
Nearly 2,200 responses were received from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Some of the most revealing responses indicated EMS mental health is an urgent issue, and that far more needs to be done to address it. “The survey shows that the EMS profession has significant work to do in demonstrating to the EMS workforce that their struggles and concerns matter, and in ensuring that EMS professionals know where to turn when they are struggling,” said Sean Britton, director of public health in Broome County, N.Y., a member of the NAEMT Board of Directors, and a member of the NAEMT EMS Workforce Committee.