Let’s be understanding to first responders

The public understanding of high-stress jobs is probably higher now than ever before. It’s no longer...

The public understanding of high-stress jobs is probably higher now than ever before. It’s no longer a situation of people pushing emotional stresses deep down or ignoring such stress, only to see them come out in possibly unhealthy ways.

Recently, some discussion around Alberta has centered on emergency first responders, which includes paramedics, emergency medical technicians and firefighters. It’s been noted as fact that suicide or self-harm has become a serious issue for these valued members of the community; in fact post-traumatic stress disorders rates were found to be similar for first responders as for war veterans.

The issues of traumatic stress and suicide are complex and can’t reasonably be addressed in the limited space here. But one thing that can be mentioned is an effort to show support. The 22 Day Challenge is circulating around Alberta, and it’s a great way to show solidarity with our first responders.

The 22 Day Challenge, or sometimes called the 22 Pushup Challenge, involves committing to show support to first responders by doing 22 push-ups a day, a physical effort to symbolize the effort first responders put into their days for the public. Something for all of us to consider.