Amid recent violence, how do first responders handle emotional d - KMOV.com

Amid recent violence, how do first responders handle emotional distress?

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Escalating violence throughout the St. Louis area can be emotionally draining for residents and the individuals who are first to respond to those tragic scenes.

As a former St. Louis County police officer, Geriann Brandt said the amount of violence local law enforcement agencies are handling can be overwhelming. First responders may have to change gears emotionally, mentally and physically all within the same shift, Brandt explained.

"When they're done they want to go home and go to sleep and forget about it...then they have to get back up and do it again," said Brandt.

Resources are available for officers to receive counseling from their departments, but Brandt said in the past an older generation thought seeking the proper help was a sign of weakness.

Brandt, now a professor at the Maryville University, warns against self-medicating and urges officers who need help coping to reach out for available support.

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