ABC 7 News
by Annie Hubbell
September 21st 2018
Under the law, a first responder must be diagnosed with PTSD after witnessing one of seven qualifying events, all including death, and the claim has to be filed within 90 days of it happening.
Fire officials hope a new law will help break the stigma of mental health in public service.
When you're in work mode, you're in autopilot," Assistant Chief of Operations for North Collier Fire and Rescue John McMahon said. "The problem occurs when the individual is done with that call. That person then goes back to being a human being."
Starting October 1, Florida worker's compensation benefits for first responders will now include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is a psychiatric disorder when a person experiences a traumatic event.
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Think about the part where it said, "a traumatic event" which is how civilians end up getting hit by PTSD. Now think about how many of them you experience in your career. If they can get it from one time, which turns out to be over 7 million Americans, then it should be easy to accept the fact that no matter how tough you are, the odds are, you will need help too!
The 90 days is more than a problem about filing a claim. The truth is, the sooner you get help to heal, the better the chances are, the worst will not happen. As soon as you get help to heal from what you survived, you begin to #TakeBackYourLife.
If you have a hard time understanding what PTSD is, this may help. I created it for National Guards and Reservists, but it was used to help first responders. I even got an award for it back in 2008 from the IFOC.