Self-Care for First Responders

Sep 2019 08

Navajo Nation Suicide Prevention Week – Self-Care Sunday

In kicking off suicide prevention week 2019, the Division of Behavioral & Mental Health Services (DBMHS) encourages all individuals, especially those in Native American communities, to explore and practice Self-Care. There are different ways to describe and practice self-care and address burnout in association with First Responders.

Burnout is described as extreme exhaustion, or an overwhelmed feeling caused by physical or emotional stress. Burnout is not considered a mental health disorder but can lead to mental health problems such as depression, PTSD, substance use and other behavioral disorders. We often see emergency workers and first-responders experience burnout due to the nature and requirements of their jobs.

According to, signs of burnout in first responders include feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, Increased cynicism towards others, Irritability or feelings of being on edge, emotional detachment, poor hygiene or diet, and decreased satisfaction in life or work. It is important for first responders to always check their level of burnout and take time for self-care.

DBMHS encourages all First Responders to practice self-care by implementing healthy positive coping skills such as writing in a journal, talking to co-workers, maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercise, relaxation and prayer.

DBMHS would like to express gratitude toward all Navajo Nation First Responders, thank you for rescuing our Nation and our people one call at a time.

If you or a loved one is the victim of substance addiction please contact The Division of Behavioral and Mental Health Services at 928-871-6420