Suicides left more officers and firefighters dead last year than all line-of-duty deaths combined — a jarring statistic that continues to plague first responders but garners little attention.
According to a new study by the Ruderman Family Foundation, while suicide has been an ingrained issue for years, very little has been done to address it even though first responders have PTSD and depression at a level five times that of civilians.
“There is not enough conversation about mental health within police and fire departments,” the study says. “Silence can be deadly, because it is interpreted as a lack of acceptance and thus morphs into a barrier that prevents first responders from accessing potentially life-saving mental health services.”
“Here’s the reality, though: Police and firefighters witness death and destruction daily. It would be silly to think it wouldn’t put a toll on them.”
From USA Today.