Title

Urban Paramedics’ Mental Health Needs and Barriers to Access

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name

Psy.D.

Department

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Laura Meyer, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Judith Fox, Ph.D.

Third Committee Member

Thom Dunn, Ph.D.

Keywords

Paramedic, Mental health

Publication Statement

Copyright held by the author.

Abstract

The primary purpose of this study is to assess the job-related stressors and potential mental health needs of paramedics at the Denver Health Paramedic Division to determine if current services are being accessed, and whether they are adequate or if new and more innovative ones need to be developed and implemented. An online survey was sent out to the Denver Health Paramedic Division in Denver, Colorado and each paramedic received the survey at their work email address. There was a total of 85 respondents (38% of the paramedics in the division). The paramedics who participated in this particular study endorsed varying levels of stress related to various job events, possibly indicating that just because one paramedic experiences an extreme level of stress does not mean another will experience the same level of stress in the same situation. Despite the stresses of the job, the current study showed that over half of the respondents (52.94%) had not accessed any form of mental health support services. Nevertheless, when paramedics did report that they had accessed services, they reported generally high levels of satisfaction, ease in making appointments and a high likelihood of accessing those services in the future, highlighting a disconnect between how helpful mental health services can be versus paramedics’ willingness to access them. Overall it appears that based on previous research and the themes that have emerged a culture shift is critical at combating many of the identified barriers in this study that prevent paramedics from accessing mental health services.

Extent

29 pgs

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