Joyful Heart in the News

Healing the Healers

April 2011
Journal of Emergency Medical Services
By

Each day, EMS providers save lives and put themselves at risk by often suppressing their own emotions. Eventually, this takes its toll. The Joyful Heart Foundation has found a way to help.

Joyful Heart’s “Heal the Healers” program aims to help counsel EMS providers who’ve been exposed to—or treated patients with—trauma, sexual assault and other difficult experiences.

Vicarious trauma happens when counselors’ continuous exposure to stories of violence and suffering begins to affect their own sense of identity. The healer’s perception of the world changes over time and can lead to depression, anxiety and addiction. This program teaches providers to practice various self-care techniques and strategies, including yoga and meditation, and to use other creative outlets to help them overcome their traumatization.

We give a thumbs up to the Joyful Heart Foundation for taking action to help tackle this rarely discussed struggle, which EMS providers deal with daily. --JEMS

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