Moral Injury

by Rob Leathen

“Moral Injury”: A moral injury can occur when an individual has experienced a potentially injurious event by “perpetrating, failing to prevent, bearing witness to, or learning about acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations” and the moral/ethical violation resulted in “lasting psychological, biological, spiritual, behavioral, and social impact”

While not part of the PTSD diagnosis, PTSD, and Moral Injury quite often occur together with moral injuries significantly impacting the success of PTSD therapy.

About the Author: Rob is a 27 year veteran of the fire service holding the rank of Acting Platoon Chief for a mid-sized Fire Department in Ontario, Canada. He has held a variety of roles and ranks throughout his career including volunteer firefighter, fire dispatcher, career firefighter, Acting Captain, Captain, and Acting Platoon Chief. Rob has also been heavily involved in his local firefighter association holding positions on the Health and Safety Committee and Association President on two separate occasions. Rob is also a vocal advocate for 1st responder mental health using his lived experience with PTSD and depression to help educate others through talks, presentations, and published writings.


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