SEOUL, Feb. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — The National Fire Agency is launching an inquiry into the mental health of firefighters across the country from today.
The inquiry launched by both the NFA and Seoul National University Bundang Hospital will survey up to 46,000 firefighters over the next eight days, asking tough questions about PTSD, depression, sleep and alcohol use disorder, as well as stress and suicidal thoughts.
The initiative follows in the footsteps of a previous survey conducted in 2014 with Ewha Womans University, with officials poised to compare the findings from both studies to get a better understanding of the current mental health status of firefighters and provide help on an individual level.
Plans are underway to establish a comprehensive health management system for firefighters later this year, data from which could be used as evidence for sickness in the workplace.
According to the findings from the previous survey, firefighters are exposed to traumatic cases around eight times a year on average, many involving fatal accidents and serious injuries.
Firefighters are also 10 times more likely to develop PTSD, and are at a greater risk of suffering from alcohol use disorder, depression and sleep disorder.
Last year alone, 15 firefighters committed suicide, nearly 1.5 times higher than the figure among police officers.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)