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James Donaldson on Mental Health – Suicide Prevention Resources for First Responders

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James Donaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

First RespondersFrom police officers to firefighters, studies show that suicide continues to outpace other causes of death for first responders

By PoliceOne Staff

Public safety is a difficult profession that can lead to mental health struggles – and those struggles cannot be left untreated. More police officers died by suicide than in the line of duty in 2018, as was the case the previous yearand the year prior to that. A study commissioned by the Ruderman Family Foundation found that firefighters are also more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. The following is a list of suicide prevention resources for first responders. Whether you’re on the front line and in need of immediate help, or in a leadership position looking to offer better prevention programs and help for your staff, this list should point you in the right direction.

PROGRAMS Public safety is a difficult profession that can lead to mental health struggles – and those struggles cannot be left untreated.

The following programs will directly help you or help connect you to the resources you or a loved one needs. The majority of these are tailored specifically to first responders. Also, keep in mind that many of these websites list additional resources to the ones listed in this article.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline

The lifeline provides 24/7 confidential support for those in distress or in need of help for their loved ones.

CONTACT: Call 800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Crisis Text Line

A text will connect you with a trained crisis counselor, 24/7.

CONTACT: https://www.crisistextline.org/ or text BADGE to 741741

1st Help

1st Help matches first responders with appropriate services based on a brief questionnaire, which determines what specific assistance you need (emotional, financial, religious, etc.).

CONTACT: http://www.1sthelp.net/

Safe Call Now

Safe Call Now is a 24-hour crisis referral service for those in public safety and their family members.

CONTACT: https://www.safecallnow.org/ or call 206-459-3020

First Responder Support Network

FRSN provides educational treatment programs for first responders and their families.

CONTACT: http://www.frsn.org/ or call 415-721-9789

Serve & Protect

Serve & Protect helps connect public safety professionals with trauma services.

CONTACT: https://serveprotect.org/ or call 615-373-8000 for the crisis line.

Cops Alive

Cops Alive provides resources and strategies to help cops live happy and successful lives.

CONTACT: http://www.copsalive.com/

CopLine

CopLine is a 24/7 service that will connect you to a peer support counselor.

CONTACT: http://www.copline.org/ or call 800-267-5463

Treatment Placement Specialists

This program offers treatment guidance based on the individual needs of officers.

CONTACT: https://www.treatmentplacementspecialists.com/first-responders/ or call 877-540-3935

VALOR

The Valor Officer Safety and Wellness program is a Bureau of Justice Assistance funded initiative that provides a ton of resources and online training focused on improving officer health and resilience.

CONTACT: https://www.valorforblue.org/Home

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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