Robert Arrieta Image by: Andrew Maguire
17 November 2020

Firefighter Robert Arrieta is raising awareness for PTSD in first responders

2 minutes read time

“As I've gone through my journey, as I've hit a lot of speed bumps and made a lot of mistakes in my personal life, I have realized that it's okay to not be okay. And that I'm not alone in this journey. We, as first responders and in the medical field, get into this job to help people and to be there for people in their worst moments. And that's a blessing.”

For years, firefighter and paramedic Robert Arrieta struggled silently with PTSD and depression like many first responders, especially those who have no visible wounds and are working so-called “everyday hero” jobs. Being called to the scene of a little girl’s death, however, triggered Arrieta past the point of bearing his weight silently. He opened up to his colleagues and friends, began a journey toward finding mental stability, and is now dedicated to raising awareness and building hope for others who might be experiencing mental health challenges.

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If you or someone you know is in crisis, or needs emotional support we urge you to head to for crisis support options. To speak with someone immediately, contact your local 24-hour support service.