Addressing Suicide Among First Responders: How Colleagues, Friends, and Family Can Help
Why First Responders Are at Risk for Mental Health Conditions and Suicide
How to Help First Responders in Need of Support
Workplaces and Colleagues
- Having the police chief and fire chief talk about mental health and the importance of going to counselors. Having open and honest discussions is key.
- Placing a mental health advocate or someone in local precincts and firehouses who is made available to talk to in a comfortable way.
- Having management check in regularly with workers.
Friends and Family
- Be clear about concern regarding problematic behavior they notice. Clarity in communication is important.
- Encourage an individual to seek help and offer to help them find treatment such as counseling.
- Push back on notions that getting mental health treatment will affect the person’s job.
- Depression or anxiety.
- Feelings of despair with life.
- Inability to concentrate or make decisions.
- Changing or increased drinking habits.
- Thoughts of self-harm.
- Thoughts of hurting other people.
- Safe Call Now: Call 1-206-459-3020 for a 24/7 hotline staffed by first responders.
- Fire/EMS Helpline: Call 1-888-731-3473 to reach this help line run by the National Volunteer Fire Council.
- Frontline Helpline: Call 1-866-676-7500 for a 24/7 line staffed by first responders and run by Frontline Responder Services.