Emergency Service Provider Counseling

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Mental Health Support for EMS Providers

The Emergency and Medical Services are unique, as are the individuals who provide such services on a volunteer or full-time basis.

It was once believed that if one couldn’t handle the stress of these jobs one should “get out.” Being affected by stress was considered a sign of weakness. The success rate of these providers’ silence spoke for itself. The high suicide, divorce, and burnout rates (often leading to early retirement or disability leave), were possibly the unfortunate eye-openers these professionals and their employers needed to begin to consider counseling as an option.

Difficulties of Emergency and Medical Providers

  • Relationship Problems
  • Difficulty Sleeping, Eating, and/or Concentrating
  • Alcohol and/or Drug Use
  • Flashbacks, Nightmares, and/or the reliving of an event
  • Guilt

Counseling Benefits

  • Finding healthy ways to deal with stress
  • Strengthening communication skills
  • Improving relationships
  • Recovering from a critical and/or traumatic event
  • Returning to independent functioning

Dione Gisch has a strong appreciation for these professionals and for their silent battles. She worked as a volunteer EMT, as well as a full-time paramedic for over 10 years. Dione has been trained in basic and advanced Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). She was involved in the establishment of a county-wide CISM team, serving as a paramedic peer-support member.