Retired NYPD Sergeant Now Focuses On Helping Others Overcome PTSD
ORLANDO, Florida – Nancy Rosado, originally from the Bronx, knows all too well the trauma of painful experiences.
“Twenty years ago these buildings fell on me. I thought I was going to die, ”Rosado said. “I heard someone shout, ‘Run! For once in my fucking life, I did as I was told. We were running. “
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Rosado is a retired New York Police Department sergeant and was among the first police officers to respond after the 9/11 attacks.
“That black soot that you saw on TV, it wrapped around me and I couldn’t breathe,” she recalls. “When we got there, we discovered that the debris was not just debris. They were people making the last decisions of their lives and you have witnessed that. I want you to try to put yourself in our shoes. Trained to respond and trained to preserve life and you were powerless. You will never, ever forget what it looked like and you will never forget what it looked like. It is very unique. He receives [etched] in the head.”
Rosado moved to Central Florida 14 years ago and now lives in Orlando. She works with UCF Restores, a program focused on helping first responders, military veterans and survivors of sexual assault, among others who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“The program had a significant impact in particular, my observation, with first responders,” she said. “We have to understand that first responders are generally a bit suspicious. They are uncomfortable showing their feelings and in fact admitting any kind of weakness.
Using virtual reality, individual and group therapy sessions, the UCF Restores program has helped fight the taboo associated with first responders and their mental health.
“It’s quite remarkable that they were able to understand, ‘OK, how are we approaching? How do we get people to adhere to their own mental health? ‘ She said.
On Saturday, as the nation commemorates 20 years of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, Rosado will speak at an event in Sanford where she will share her story.
“I have to say, every year that I fight, do I bring it up or not?” But we always say never forget, ”she said. “If you don’t talk about it, guess what’s going to happen?” “
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