Intro about Unconcious Ghost

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Kizzie

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Re: Intro about Unconcious Ghost
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2014, 09:29:53 PM »
Hey Ghost - the bottom line is somehow you have to take steps to reduce the stress in at least one area of your life, and as you say coming to this forum may help you learn more about CPTSD from past abuse and how to deal with it.  It's a step in the right direction and I hope it helps being here.

Does your work in Disaster Response entail working with one organization?  I would think perhaps the org have processes in place for helping responders to decompress and possibly get counselling when they are having difficulties.

Reply to Kizzie: Intro about Unconcious Ghost
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2014, 10:10:06 PM »
Kizzie said: "Hey Ghost - the bottom line is somehow you have to take steps to reduce the stress in at least one area of your life, and as you say coming to this forum may help you learn more about CPTSD from past abuse and how to deal with it.  It's a step in the right direction and I hope it helps being here.
Does your work in Disaster Response entail working with one organization?  I would think perhaps the org have processes in place for helping responders to decompress and possibly get counselling when they are having difficulties."

Unless you are a full time employee with full benefits (or benefits at all), there are NO support mechanisms. No, I have worked for several disaster response orgs/agencies; none have support for those who volunteer or are hired only on a response basis (i.e. on call, no benefits, retirement, insurance).  The mass majority of people who respond to and help with disasters are NOT covered by any insurance, most are volunteers, contractors and on call personnel.  It's a very small majority who are active field disaster personnel who enjoy real benefits.
When I did a lot of online research that might be related to disaster response, all I found was PTSD support groups for combat vets, law enforcement and fire.  If I was a full time employee with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army or other disaster responder orgs, then you would have access to their mental health counseling.  Also, individual orgs only help their own personnel, they don't help others out except on active disasters.  In so called 'peace-time' there is nothing available, so you have to suck it up on your own. 

2nd response to Kizzie: Intro about Unconcious Ghost *possible triggers*
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2014, 10:20:33 PM »
If you've ever watched the news and seen major disasters in the USA...Hurricane Sandy, Katrina, floods, etc...90% of all personnel are volunteers (Red Cross, Salvation Army, Southern Baptist folks) or quasi (hourly paid, no benefits) volunteers (contractors and FEMA personnel, some wildland fire crews, plus other on call entities).  So, there's hundreds of thousands of disaster responder personnel who have no access to counseling from the orgs/agencies they deploy under. 
Case history: one seasonal federal firefighter I know had been good friends with the Granite Mountain Hotshots who died last year in Arizona. He's a seasonal firefighter like most are, and they have no benefits.  So, I watch him...and others like him...struggle daily.

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Kizzie

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Re: Intro about Unconcious Ghost
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2014, 07:13:51 PM »
This is quite informative Ghost.  I know about the military (H just retired from the Cdn Army) and here in Can at least PTSD seems to be a lot of attention and support as are the police, EMT and firefighters (although I don't think CPTSD has had much if any attention yet. I did see it on the US Veteran's web site though).  Anyway, I am astonished to hear that DR's don't have much if any support, but if the work is mostly contractual/volunteer I guess that would be the case.   

Is there any kind of association for DR's that might take this (educating re the need for support for PTSD at least and possibly CPTSD in some cases) on as a project? I'm not sure what that would look like but there is often power in numbers and it sounds like it's needed.  And do you think a forum for DR's might be a useful idea?  I'm just noodling here, but that's the whole reason OOTS was started - nowhere online for us to go and talk about what we are dealing with.

To Kizzie: Intro about Unconcious Ghost
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2014, 03:42:20 AM »
Kizzie said: "This is quite informative Ghost.  I know about the military (H just retired from the Cdn Army) and here in Can at least PTSD seems to be a lot of attention and support as are the police, EMT and firefighters (although I don't think CPTSD has had much if any attention yet. I did see it on the US Veteran's web site though).  Anyway, I am astonished to hear that DR's don't have much if any support, but if the work is mostly contractual/volunteer I guess that would be the case.   
Is there any kind of association for DR's that might take this (educating re the need for support for PTSD at least and possibly CPTSD in some cases) on as a project? I'm not sure what that would look like but there is often power in numbers and it sounds like it's needed.  And do you think a forum for DR's might be a useful idea?  I'm just noodling here, but that's the whole reason OOTS was started - nowhere online for us to go and talk about what we are dealing with."

Congrats on your retirement!  Again, nothing is free when it comes to medical in the USA, and money is everything despite the need for a particular resource.  Most counseling is quite pricey 'out of pocket' (60-100+ per hour) and only paid staff for all disaster orgs/agencies I know of...are covered.  The irony is that the HUGE chunk of disaster personnel who deploy are volunteers, therefore, unless they have their own medical insurance which covers counseling, they are on their own.  Paid staff are the fraction of any disaster response oriented org/agency, and they typically don't goto the field.  The power in numbers is fractional...you have seasonal workers (wildland firefighters), on call disaster personnel, volunteers, and contractors.  VOADs: Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc) have no counseling coverage for their thousands of volunteers.  As I said, every disaster heard of on USA soil is mostly comprised of volunteers/on call paid workers and contractors.  -None of which have ANY benefits!  :sadno:
On large scale (deadly, nasty, catastrophic disasters such as 9-11 or Katrina) incidents, the 'street' terminology is called 'loading up' or decompressing...i.e. your body/mind trying to rapidly dump the stress. 
I completely agree with you on ideas, etc, but again, it sources back to funding. SAMSHA: http://www.samhsa.gov/ is the only leaflet material floated around on disasters, again, it's just a piece of paper with links/resources and some written advice, but that doesn't cut it for those who keep going out.  On major disasters, the American Red Cross, bereavement chaplains, etc do make their rounds, but it's typically AFTER personnel get home or 'demobilize' when the decompress 'dump' process occurs.  And that timeline is the worst shadow time period.
This is identical to our wartime troops; they don't usually start decompressing in the field, its when they return home to family/friends and 'détente' that they begin processing imagery, memories, events.  And when they truck off to the V.A. for help and told to 'wait' (and our VA system in the States routinely let vets die), they begin to go insane without help, meds, or guidance.
Also, many so called disaster volunteers still have 'day jobs' or active careers, unlike the military.  I think it's tougher for disaster personnel to discuss their troubles with colleagues because they are still in the game.  NONE of my disaster friends know; only a rare few OUTSIDE of my circles do.  Honestly, if any of them were having problems, I'd never know either.
 



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Rain

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Re: Intro about Unconcious Ghost
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2014, 07:49:22 AM »
This all so defies logic, and tragic beyond belief.    The heroes on the front line not supported afterwards, and children trapped with abusers who are their parents, and siblings, without rescue.    :sadno:

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Kizzie

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Re: Intro about Unconcious Ghost
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2014, 06:01:55 AM »
I had a look at the site and saw the Disaster Response Kit which apparently "arms disaster recovery workers with a toolkit on mental health awareness. Includes materials for responding effectively to the general public during and after a disaster and in dealing with workplace stress. Also includes materials for the general public."  Pieces of paper as you say.

So I see that there's not much at all avail for the mental health of DR's themselves and what there is is mainly to help others. I understand that you and your colleagues are up against an enormous wall made more difficult by the voulntary nature of the work - so much harder too to be the "squeeky wheel" when you're not from one org.