STATISTICS

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CONDITIONS

EMS PERSONNEL

DEPRESSION

Depression was reported in 6.8%, with mild depression the most common type (3.5%) (Bentley et al., 2013).

STRESS AND POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER/SYMPTOMS

In a case-control study among certified EMS professionals, stress was reported in 5.9%, with mild stress the most common type (3.1%) (Bentley et al., 2013).

SUICIDE/SUICIDE IDEATION

10.4% for serious suicidal ideation, and 3.1% for a past suicide attempt (Stanley, Hom, & Joiner, 2016). In another study in the same review, it was found that having both EMS and firefighting duties was associated with a sixfold increase (Stanley et al., 2016). 6.6% of fire and EMS professionals reported having attempted suicide as compared with just 0.5% of civilians.

FIREFIGHTERS

STRESS AND POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER/SYMPTOMS

Stress and posttraumatic stress symptoms have been reported in a number of studies. For instance, according to a literature review by Dowdall-Thomae, Gilkey, Larson, and Arend-Hicks, over 50 percent of firefighter deaths are due to stress and exhaustion (2012). Most of the firefighters in the United States are volunteers (about 69 percent). A study investigating the suicidality of firefighters, while being flawed because it was a sample of convenience and therefore potentially attracted individuals who had more often been suicidal, has reported markedly elevated levels of post traumatic stress in volunteer firefighters, while career firefighters reported higher levels of PTSD (Stanley et al., 2017).

SUBSTANCE USE

Stanley et al. found that career firefighters reported higher levels of problematic alcohol use and PTSD as compared to the volunteer firefighters, while the volunteers reported higher levels of depression and suicide attempts and ideations (Stanley et al., 2017). Recent (past month) heavy or binge alcohol drinking was reported in approximately 50 percent of male firefighters, and driving while intoxicated was reported in 9 percent of male firefighters (Haddock, Poston, Jahnke, & Jitnarin, 2017). 

SUICIDE/SUICIDE IDEATION

Suicidal ideation has been reported in firefighters at higher rates than in the general population. Currently available studies do suggest that firefighters may be more likely to think about and attempt suicide than people in the United States as a whole. In a convenience sample study related to suicide attempts and ideations, firefighters were reported to have higher attempt and ideation rates than the general population (Stanley et al., 2016). 

LAW ENFORCEMENT

DEPRESSION

Depression has been reported in police officers. A study following police officers after the 9/11 attacks found a 24.7 percent prevalence of depression, and a 47.7 percent prevalence of both depression and anxiety (Bowler et al., 2016).

 

STRESS AND POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER/SYMPTOMS

After the World Trade Center attack, PTSD was reported in 11 percent of police responders, PTSD increased as the level of social support decreased, and the PTSD prevalence was relatively high among those unable to work because of health (34.8 percent) and those with unmet mental health needs (50.7 percent). Additionally, the prevalence was higher in women (15.5 percent) than in men (10.3 percent) (Cone et al., 2015). 

SUICIDE/SUICIDE IDEATION

Suicide attempts and ideations were reported in multiple studies. In a literature review, the lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation in police officers was 25 percent in female officers and 23.1 percent in male officers (Stanley et al., 2016). Suicide attempt rates ranged from 0.7 to 55 percent among studies. Another study linked strain on the job to suicidal ideation, as well as depression and anger. Officers with burnout showed significantly greater suicide risk, with a 117 percent greater likelihood of suicidal thoughts for officers who reported burnout at work (Bishopp & Boots, 2014).

Established in 2019

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