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CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Issues Proclamation Recognizing PTSD Awareness Month


CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Issues Proclamation Recognizing PTSD Awareness Month   TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - In recognition of June as Post Tramatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis issued a proclamation recognizing the mental health challenges facing Florida’s first responders. First responders are more likely to develop PTSD compared to the general public due to their exposure to significant tramatic incidents incurred in the line of duty.   CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “Every day, 365 days a year, 7 days a week, our first responders are the frontlines of our communities, responding to emergency calls. On a daily basis, they see awful things that most people will not see in an entire lifetime. PTSD within our first responder community is real and firefighters alone attempt suicide at a much higher rate than the general population. These heroes encounter unthinkable tragedy on the job as they work day and night to protect our communities. We expect them to be there for us on our worst day, and we must be there for them on theirs. Let’s come together to raise awareness and provide support and resources for our first responders to ensure no one fights alone.”

In 2018, CFO Patronis advocated for PTSD legislation, relating to benefits for first responders who are struggling with PTSD. CFO Patronis worked with numerous stakeholders through the rulemaking process in 2019 and was successful in seeking legislative ratification of the rules implementing these important benefits, including vital PTSD education requirements for Florida’s first responders. Additionally, last month, CFO Patronis and Senator Perry recognized May 10th as First Responders Mental Health Awareness Day. This past legislative session, Senate Resolution 618 was passed, creating First Responders Mental Health Day in the Sunshine State.   The proclamation can be viewed below and downloaded here.   PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS, individuals with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended and can relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares leaving them sad, angry and detached from other people; and

WHEREAS, untreated PTSD from any trauma will unlikely disappear and can contribute to chronic pain, depression and alcohol abuse, sleep problems and may impede a person’s ability to work or interact socially with others; and

WHEREAS, almost 8 million people in the United States suffer from PTSD with an estimated 7 or 8 people out of every 100 developing PTSD in their lifetime effecting more women than men; and

WHEREAS, first responders are generally considered to be at greater risk for full or partial PTSD than most other occupations because their duties routinely entail confrontation with traumatic stressors; and

WHEREAS, firefighters alone are attempting suicide at a rate five times higher than the general population and first responders as a whole are attempting suicide at rate more than ten times higher than the general population; and

WHEREAS, Florida recognized the need for services and benefits for our first responders suffering from PTSD and implemented legislation in 2019 addressing this underserved population; and   WHEREAS, it is never too late to get treatment for PTSD with many more options available today than were available even a year ago; and 

WHEREAS, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month is intended to raise public awareness about issues related to PTSD, reduce the stigma associated with PTSD, and help ensure that those suffering from the invisible wounds receive proper treatment.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal of the State of Florida recognizes the month of June as POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER AWARENESS MONTH and encourage those that are silently suffering to get the assistance they need to live a healthy and productive life.  

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF the Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal of the State of Florida has hereunto subscribed his name and has caused the Official Seal of the State of Florida to be hereunto affixed in the City of Tallahassee on the 7th day of June 2021.

###   About CFO Jimmy Patronis  Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).