Most people are aware of the physical demands that first response activities place on firefighters and EMS providers. But it is important to also realize the impact that fighting fires and responding to emergencies has on the mental wellbeing of emergency personnel. Firefighters and EMS providers face the risk of many behavioural health concerns such as anxiety, depression, burnout, post-traumatic stress disorder, and addiction among others.
Taking care of your mental health is as important as managing your physical health. The NVFC's Share the Load™ program provides access to critical resources and information to help first responders and their families manage and overcome personal and work-related problems. This includes the Fire/EMS Helpline, which offers free 24-hour assistance with issues such as stress, depression, addiction, PTSD, and more.
The resources in this section can assist individuals seeking help for a behavioural health issue as well as departments looking to implement or enhance a behavioural health program.
- Fire/EMS Helpline - 1-888-731-FIRE (3473)
- Share the Load™ Resources (Help letter, poster, ads, family guide, suicide prevention report, training)
- Share the Load Videos featuring warning signs to watch for, personal stories, and resources that are available.
- Additional Behavioural Health Resources (organizations, helplines, reports, courses and webinars)
- Articles and news on behavioural health topics