Mental Health Awareness Month
Statistics show 1 in 4 people suffer from some form of mental illness in any given year. Firefighters are three times more likely to die from suicide than in the line of duty. According to the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance, 105 firefighters took their own lives in the United States in 2014. The US Firefighters Association (USFA reports that about 10 percent of firefighters may be abusing illicit substances and that alcohol abuse among this population is more than twice the rates seen in the general public. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors among first responders are also common and believed to be triggered or worsened by repeat exposure to trauma, including physical abuse and death among the people they serve, loss of people close to them, and life-threatening situations.