Research — 10 December 2013

About one in five paramedics has reported suffering from stress, depression  or anxiety, with insiders warning of a growing reliance on drugs to cope.

Leaked Ambulance Victoria data reveals that about 20 per cent of staff whose  mental health was recently assessed by the organisation said they have  psychological problems ranging from mild to extreme.

While Ambulance Victoria says the trend is in line with the general  population, a number of paramedics have told Fairfax Media of colleagues turning  to prescription drugs – including the narcotic painkiller fentanyl – because  they’re struggling to deal with their problems.

”As a paramedic, you know you’re going to see dead bodies, you know you’re  going to be telling family members that someone has died, and often you can get  a bad run where you’re doing several horrific jobs at the one time,” said one  senior source, who did not wish to be named.bigstock-Anxiety-and-Stress-and-its-Des-15768977