Doug Bedell — May 10, 2019, 10:46 am

Honor First Responders for the Stresses They Bear


Stresses from career engagement as military veterans or first responders can be deadly. The toll of veteran suicides is better known, but “another group is quietly struggling with its own suicide epidemic: First responders.”

That’s the dire insight presented in a post on In Public Safety.

“According to a study by the Ruderman Family Foundation, police officers and firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than from shootings, traffic accidents and fires combined. In addition, the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FFBHA) estimates that only 40% of firefighter suicides are reported. This makes it likely that first responder suicides are much higher than previously thought.”

The post goes on to explain how “winning the war against first responder suicides starts by acknowledging the problem.” The first advisory is to “assure officers that there will be no judgment of individuals seeking help. Of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States, only 3%–5% have suicide prevention training programs. That percentage is unacceptable.”

And so it is.

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