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FOT #15 - Suicide, mental health emergencies, and where we can improve in healthcare

Flight of Thoughts

Release Date: 03/24/2019

Derek (Advanced Care Paramedic) and I discuss the topic of suicide and how to effectively provide suicide intervention. This includes talking about the stigma, the importance of building connection through listening, and how to have a conversation about suicide.  Suicide and Overdose are the leading causes of death in North America, above heart attacks and car accidents; yet most people do not understand these issues or how to properly save the life of someone who is struggling with it.  I have managed many suicide-related emergencies as a paramedic and mental health worker and would like to share what I have learned through my experience and recent training.  Derek provides great insight on this issue with his 15 years of experience as a paramedic.

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We go into how healthcare workers can be more effective during mental health emergencies to causing harm to our patients.  Many healthcare workers feel that they are not comfortable with mental health emergencies due to a lack of training and comfort around the subject.  During my last 7 years in the field I have grown a passion for understanding and assisting mental health emergencies.  There is a major amount of research emerging in this field which allows us to understand mental health more each year.  
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The suicide rates among first responders are the highest of any profession due to accumulating trauma, hopelessness, sadness, fear, and confusion that go unresolved. This is the first of many episodes where we talk openly about mental health, suicide, and how we can make our workplaces and communities safer. Being honest and anti-stigmatic about suicide will reduce the rates of death and empower more people to find their “life voice” again.

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Boots On The Ground is a crisis support service for First Responders.  Reach out and call if you are ever in crisis or feeling suicidal to connect with fellow first responders who are volunteering to provide peer support, by phone or by meeting you in person.  You may simply talk to us about your struggles or ask about how we can connect you with appropriate services, or even emergency if needed.  This takes away the fear of stigma at your workplace and provides a safety net for the long wait periods to see a professional counselor or psychologist. https://www.bootsontheground.ca/

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Anyone who is having a mental health crisis or is feeling suicidal can call their local crisis line or mobile crisis team, where available, if you do not want 9-1-1.

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To learn more about how psychedelics and cannabis can help first responders and other healthcare workers heal from PTSD, compassion fatigue, and other stress-related illnesses follow this page:

The Psychedelic Society of First Responders and Emergency Workers

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You can also follow me on Instagram for ongoing content and information on the topics covered on this podcast:

@jake_flightofthoughts

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This podcast is uncensored and covers many topics considered “taboo” or difficult for some individuals. We do not condone any illegal activities, as this is a platform for harm reduction and open-dialogue.  Although the ideas are mostly evidence-based and honest, the lines of reality and comedy may be blurred at times...this is your trigger warning!