Possible new job after last one caused my ptsd


New Here
Just wanted to share my new career choice and wondered if it’s a good idea?
My current job is the cause of my ptsd and I have not properly returned to that role due to the trauma suffered but could not afford to leave the job.

I work in the emergency services and a role has come about for people that own dogs to Take up the job of a ’well being dog handler‘ which basically involves taking your dog to visit people within the service to offer mental health support to these people with the help of your dog.

It sounds great and I love the idea of helping people in similar positions to myself and it keeps me away from the full role that caused my ptsd in first place but do you think it’s good idea to take such a role whilst suffering ptsd myself? I do find sometImes talking to strangers helps but not sure if it’s a good idea full time?
Thats a really good question - and I think a lot of it will depend on what role your dog plays for you first, others second.

When I first got SD I was still in dispatch and it was a shitshow cause, y'know, we dispatchers be judgy. Then I started letting him run around and visit once a week before we left and the entire attitude on the floor changed. For him, he knew that with me he had a job, with them he could be a puppy and play -- but that was a clear distinction. So if your dog is acting as your therapy dog, you might need to think about how to make it "attend to me now" "attend to them now". Dogs can easily figure it out, it's us humans that make it confusing LOL

Are you going to be just wandering thru stations and what not, or responding to the scene? Because there's a huge difference there, depending on which might trigger you. But if it's a volunteer thing you would be able to pick and choose -so as long as you kept those boundaries it should be ok. Like, if your ptsd is from a house fire, responding with your dog to a random fire might not be a good idea, but you would be fine at a car crash scene or a debrief.

The other thing that might come up is the communication with the people the dog is there to help. Chances are the people you are trying to support aren't necessarily going to want to talk with you, but just want to pet a dog. So that's easy. But if someone does start blah blah blahing at you about feelings and what not, are you in place to handle that without getting triggered yourself? Which might be a good question for your t cause it's a hard one to guess at.

Don't get me wrong - I think it's a wonderful idea for a first responder with ptsd to be honest about it and offer to help. One of my coworkers became my ptsd guru that way and saved my life -- truly. But it was also tough on him some times, so he had to keep really good boundaries as I went down my rabbit holes that he didn't get dragged in with me.

Hope that helps!
It helps loads totally makes sense

The role mainly involves visiting stations to get people talking but sometimes could involve visiting incidents to offer help sooner
I could have used a visit from the paw patrol after one of my calls this week. I think I'm going to ask next time... I can totally pet a dog and write an incident report at the same time. I can't even write that with a straight face... puppy now, report later, then more puppy.

Seriously though, it's a valuable service and I'm so glad it's being recognized in many organizations. If you can safely participate, it sounds like a great opportunity.