BAKERSFIELD, CA. — Kern County Public Health is hosting a mental health symposium from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Bakersfield College indoor auditorium.
The symposium will address a stigmatized topic among first responders.
23ABC spoke with city firefighters on the current status of the mental health conversation.
“We’re starting to see more and more when it comes to post traumatic stress. Our firefighters are starting to reach out more, but it's still not as widely accepted as I’d like and over time I can see where one reaches out and says 'hey this really helped me,'" said Anthony Galagaza, BFD chief.
The symposium will talk about ways to detect and handle PTSD.
“So in the beginning everyone gets on this job and all you wanna do is help people and you realize as you go on call and call that you’re going to see things that you’re not gonna be used to. I’ve probably seen close to 1,000 dead people in my life. After 29 years it kinda adds up but it could not be 29 years it could just be one call one time and for me of all the calls I try to block out 99% but 1% has gone through," said Gary Einstein, BFD.