First Responders

First Responders and Mental Health

There is no deeper devotion than to help others in need.  The willing sacrifice of one’s own being for the safety and security of another epitomizes what is so special about humanity.  This humanity lifts up the weak, tends to the sick, rescues us from danger, and provides everyone peace of mind when asleep.  Thankfully, our Fire Fighters, Police Officers, Correctional Officers, Dispatchers, and EMS workers all answer this call to service.  Unfortunately, this call to service has negative consequences to some.

                It is common knowledge that First Responders suffer more from divorce, mental health maladies, addition, self-destructive behaviors, and suicidal ideations than “normal” everyday citizens.  With that said, people in this field are worried of the negative stigma that these maladaptive behaviors yield.  Will I lose my job or be labeled “unfit for duty”?  Ironically, the proper data lacks for the true numbers of First Responders that suffer from this on a day-to-day basis.  In result, these dedicated and brave members unfortunately suffer without the proper help they need.

So, who helps the helper?  Where does one go to try and process these dark images?  Who can silence the cries for help that continuously race in their mind?  Can religion help make sense of the fear, doubt, and evil they see?  In reflection of these things, I remember a verse, have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest (Joshua 1:9  KJV).  Can inner strength and resolve deflect the mental and physical effects these service members endure?  Or can a combination of faith and a listening ear free themself of some concern?  If you believe this could be helpful, I am happy to offer a relatable ear to those who service us.

                My name is J. Ervin Miller and I am a new Psychotherapist Intern with Lighthouse Counseling.  I have served over 22 years of combined service as a Police Officer in Orlando, FL and today in Corrections.  I have witnessed first hand the great accomplishments of being a First Responder.  The satisfaction of helping others and the inner pride to be apart of something bigger than yourself.   However, I have also witnessed the dark side of this life.  The negative effects that tower over your personal life and health. 

                I believe personal connection is essential in a therapeutic scene.  With that in mind, I would be more than happy to offer my services in attempt to help with your unique situation.

J Ervin Miller received his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Walden University in 2013 and is currently a Master’s intern from Capella University’s Marriage and Family Therapy program. His background includes 22 years in law enforcement and correctional experience providing his clients a unique and credible insight into those individuals that place themselves in harm’s way to help others.   

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