Thursday, September 25, 2014

Indiana Hospitals to Offer Free Mental Health Counseling for Public Safety Employees

Starting in October, the City of Indianapolis is partnering with hospitals to give free mental health counseling services to public safety employees. 

Many public safety employees such as police officers, paramedics and firefighters are often exposed to traumatic events that can take a psychological toll leading to high stress levels. While the city's Employee Assistance Program offers counseling services to city workers, they are not often taken advantage of, as many workers show concern that utilizing them may affect their careers.  

The hope is that by offering another phone number outside of the existing option workers will feel less hesitant to call.

NIOSH offers resources on its Traumatic Incident Stress page that help identify symptoms, ways for workers to maintain their health in an emergency environment, as well as recommendations on how to stay healthy after an incident occurs. The page also offers links to NIOSH publications specifically focused on traumatic incident stress.