More first responders die by suicide than in the line of duty each year. In 2018, more police died by suicide than by on the job fatalities. Firefighters have a higher suicide rate than police. It’s alarming, especially considering suicide among among first responders is typically under reported by as much as 60%.
“You will see things people should not have to see. You will be in situations most people will never see or experience” first responders are told. In contrast, training focuses on the physical aspect of the job, process, safety and protocol. What about the mental aspects?
There’s a slow movement to address the metal health challenges for first responders. As this holiday season kicks off, consider giving thanks to the police and firefighters who risk physical and mental health as public servants.