Many who serve their community, such as police officers and firefighters, feel that their identity is closely tied to their careers.
When these public servants become injured on the job and can no longer fulfill their work duties, it can have a serious impact on their mental health. Here are three tips to help you cope with becoming unable to perform your usual tasks in your career.
1. Take advantage of department resources
In many municipalities, there are in-house counselors available to speak with law enforcement officers who have sustained injuries in the course of duty. Take advantage of any resources available to police and firefighters for mental health services, and speak freely with the counselor about how you are doing.
2. Take leave if you need it
Many men and women who serve the public feel that they should maintain their composure at all times. For this reason, police and firefighters keep going to work after receiving an offer of leave. Rather than put on a brave face when you are suffering silently, take the time that you need to deal with the physical and mental impacts of your injuries.
3. Accept your limitations
Whether you return to your previous position or not, you must come to terms with the physical limitations that your incident caused. Accepting your new reality is crucial to moving forward in a healthy way.
Your pride might make it tough to accept offers of help after a severe injury in the line of duty, but it is crucial to getting your life back on track.