A survey of 256 paramedics at Austin-Travis County EMS has shown a connection between their mental health and off-duty sleep and drinking habits, including that medics with clinically significant symptoms of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder were more likely to endorse getting drunk at least once in the previous three months.
The anonymous, voluntary survey is an early foray for the agency to explore the behavioral health of paramedics, a population that EMS psychologist Marc Kruse said is virtually unstudied. The effort is aimed at studying the prevalence of behavioral health problems among medics, as well as figuring out ways the agency can help improve their health.
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