Bradford fire to host seminar for first responders and family to address mental health

BRADFORD, Maine (WABI) - Firefighters, EMTs and Police Officers often run into dangerous situations rather than away from them.

Many of them are so concerned with other people's safety that they often don't think about their own, especially their mental well-being.

More police officers and firefighters died of suicide last year than in the line of duty, according to a recent study by the Ruderman Foundation.

Officials from Bradford fire department want to start fighting that statistic.

They're hosting a seminar called "A Family Guid to First Responder PTSD."

The free class is geared towards family members of first responders.

Dusty Kelley, Bradford Fire Chief says, "We're taught very early on, not to show emotion. So, we bottle it up and keep it inside and that's when it really starts to wear on you. So, it's important for your family to be able to understand what's going on so you can talk to them as well. We're great at taking care of everyone else but we're not great at taking care of ourselves."

Emily Genevere, Mental Health Clinician says, "I'm going to be supporting families and helping them to understand what the signs and the symptoms and the development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is. That way they understand where it's coming from and how they can help."

The class will be taking place at the Bradford Community Center on East Road in Bradford.

It's next Tuesday night starting at 6:30.

Everyone is welcome to attend.