Workshop on Suicide and PTSD in First Responders

Western New York sheriff to speak on noticing symptoms

The Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and Putnam County Department of Mental Health, in association with the Putnam County Suicide Prevention Task Force, announce two date options for the free workshop Trauma, PTSD and Suicide: Helping Professionals at Risk, on May 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. or May 29 from 9 a.m. to noon at the TOPS building on the Donald B. Smith Campus in Carmel. The workshop will be presented by Timothy Whitcomb, sheriff for the Cattaraugus County Sheriff Office in Western New York.

PTSD is a mental health condition triggered when a person experiences, witnesses or learns about a trauma, resulting in distressing psychological effects. The reason for the prevalence of this disorder among first responders is due to the frequent exposure to traumas when first responders are called into action. Many jurisdictions report clusters of suicides in the first responder population, both active and retired, and it is concluded that they had a suicide risk 25 times that of the wider population.

How can friends, loved ones and coworkers recognize when a first responder is grappling with the devastating symptoms of PTSD? Sheriff Whitcomb knows firsthand and will share his personal experience on what it is like to work to heal an organization overwhelmed by the loss of a colleague.

Space is limited. To register, call Elaine Haskell at 845-808-1400, ext. 44123, fax at 845-808-1926 or email Elaine.haskell@putnamcountyny.gov.


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