Approximately 1-year ago, a good friend of mine lost her daughter to suicide. What made matters even worse is that her daughter lived for an additional 51 days on life support before succumbing to her injuries. Yesterday I accompanied my friend and her husband to the Fayetteville Police Department (NC) to give gift certificates to 3 officers who assisted with the initial suicide investigation. As my friend thanked the officers, I noticed that each officer had a different response. One officer cried, one officer smiled nervously, and one officer seemed to be attempting to recall the incident.
What I learned:
- Everyone processes trauma differently and as a result, everyone needs to have their individual needs met in order to heal.
- What may be traumatic to one person, may not be traumatic to another.
- Taking the time to recognize someone who assisted with a traumatic event can really help with the healing process.
- WE, in the First Responder profession, need to do a better job of checking on our employees on a daily basis.
- WE need to prioritize the mental wellness of our First Responders!