Letters: First responders deal with trauma

First responders often get overlooked. I feel that after 9/11, no one was checking on first responders and their mental state. First responders are generally considered to be at greater risk for full or partial post-traumatic stress disorder than most other occupations because their duties routinely entail confrontation with traumatic stressors.

On April 28, 2007, House Bill 1983 allowed first responders to receive workers’ compensation due to trauma related to the workplace. These critical incidents typically involve exposure to life threats, either directly or as a witness. Having experienced mental health issues myself, I feel this topic is special to me.

Logistic regressions showed that rumination about memories of stressful events at the start of training uniquely predicted an episode of PTSD.

First onset and recurrences of major depression in a study of 347 first-year students without initial psychiatric disorders, in a study of 967 consecutive patients to an emergency clinic following road traffic accidents, found that negative interpretations of intrusions, rumination, thought suppression and anger cognitions enhanced the accuracy of the prediction of chronic PTSD during a one-year follow-up.

The disaster of 9/11 in New York City has had long-term impacts on both the responders and civilians. Hit by the pandemic we see the same thing happening; both responders and civilians are having long-term impacts.

Risk factors are the presence of other traumas or chronic stress in people’s lives. People who had experienced trauma or hardship before or after the trauma are likely to continue to struggle with mental illness over the years compared to others.

What are common signs of mental health? Stigma often comes from lack of understanding or fear. Inaccurate or misleading media representation of mental illness contributes to both those factors.

One could ask, how to spread mental health awareness? Talk about mental health issues openly, educate yourself and others on the warning signs and symptoms of mental illnesses, practice kindness and compassion, take and share a free mental health screening and participate or volunteer in awareness events.

D. Crystal Gomez




The Department of Veterans Affairs projected the debt ceiling bill would reduce its budget by 22% and immediately rescind $2 billion in funding to support veterans. Some lawmakers said the proposal would result in 30 million fewer veteran outpatient visits and significantly increase the backlog for benefit claims.

Donald “Draft Dodger in Chief” Donald Trump said those who died in war were “losers” and “suckers.” MAGA Republicans such as my congressional representative, Monica De La Cruz, are cut from the same anti-veteran MAGA Republican ilk as Donald Trump. De la Cruz voted for a 22% reduction in VA benefits. She deserves absolutely no support from anyone in the military or a veteran. She will never get my support or vote.

MAGA Republicans have no problem supporting Vladimir Putin. They constantly support Russia over Ukraine. Ms. De la Cruz, Russia is not America’s friend. It is time for you to decide whom you support — the USA or the Russian supporters in the GOP.

Hank Shiver


LETTERS — Limit letters to 300 words; all letters are subject to editing. Mail: P.O. Box 3267, McAllen, TX78502-3267; Email: [email protected]