Emergency Service officers are regularly exposed to traumatic events, which they can repeatedly re-experience through nightmares or flashbacks. It is estimated that 10 per cent of current emergency service workers have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The first set of national guidelines for the treatment and diagnosis of PTSD in frontline emergency service workers was recently released by a group of Australian clinicians and researchers. The guidelines explore how to treat PTSD in emergency workers and reduce symptoms, as well as the best ways to ensure the person can be transitioned back to work.
To complement these initiatives, Australian Rotary Health has announced it will be co-funding with Rotary District 9675 (funding provided by RESCA), a Funding Partner PhD Scholarship for research into PTSD in emergency services.
The new ‘PTSD in Emergency Services PhD Scholarship’ will be advertised in March 2016 for commencement later in the year. Further research will look at in-depth ways workers experience PTSD and alleviate the mental health burden on our emergency services.