Preventing and Reducing Stigma: First Responders

First Responders Screen shotWhile mental health and SUDs affect people from all walks of life and all age groups, people with these disorders interact disproportionately with members of the police force, fire department, and emergency medical services. Individuals with severe mental illness generate no fewer than 1 in 10 calls for police service.  Police transport an estimated 1 in 3 individuals in psychiatric crisis to hospital emergency rooms. 

Frequent and repeated encounters with individuals struggling with mental health, substance use, and related behavioral health problems can produce compassion fatigue in first responders and perpetuate the misconceptions that individuals with mental illness are dangerous and/or that SUD is a moral failing. Training and education in substance use and mental health disorders can help first responders understand how stigmatizing attitudes and language can interfere with quality of care. 


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Slide Deck: Preventing and Reducing Stigma–First Responders 

Two-Pager: Preventing and Reducing Stigma–First Responders

Related Products

PodcastListen to Spotlight on Stigma Episode 1: The Role of First Responders

Web Page: Preventing and Reducing Stigma 



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