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Stand Down Week
May 13-17, 2019

First Responder Suicide Awareness & Prevention

We are a community in crisis. First responders are exposed to crisis situations every day. Sometimes these responses become a personal crisis for the first responder. The Texas LODD Task Force recognizes and acknowledges the tremendous sacrifice that first responders and their loved ones make to serve their communities and we realize that sometimes that being willing to sacrifice so much comes at a cost.  This cost is the crisis of a balanced and whole feeling of well-being.  Chronic stress, lack of sleep, continued exposure to trauma, and stigmas can lead to a first responder feeling depressed, fatigued, and sometimes traumatized.  

A first responder’s first contact with trauma, crime, and death can be a defining moment in his or her life. Even with all of the training that law enforcement, firefighters, EMS personnel and dispatchers go through, sometimes we are inadequately prepared for the natural psychological reactions that are common following repeat exposure to the worst of humanity.


This year during Fallen First Responder Awareness Month, we are introducing a Stand-Down Week to address suicide awareness and prevention in the first responder industries.  We want to help be a part of turning the tide of emotional and psychological crisis by offering resources and information for your agency to use to address this topic.  While Stand-Down Week 2018 is occurring during the second week in May, these material may be used at any time.  Please feel free to download them and use them to start a discussion within your own agency.


Stand Down Week 2019 is dedicated to the memory of Paramedic Ryan Burger who died due to suicide in 2015. Ryan dedicated his life to helping others through his work as a Paramedic for Austin/Travis County EMS.  It is our hope that by sharing his story, creating resources, and opening up channels of dialogue, that we can bring a greater awareness to first responders that there is hope, help, and healing.

Other  Resources

SAFE CALL NOW – 1-206-459-3020 OR 1-877-230-6060
Safe Call Now is a resource for public safety employees to speak confidentially with officers, former law enforcement officers, public safety professionals and/or mental healthcare providers who are familiar with your line of work.


SHARE THE LOAD – 1-888-731-3473 A program run by the National Volunteer Fire Council. They have a help line, and have also collected a list of many good resources for people looking for help and support.


CopLine – 1 - 800 - COPLINE

COPLINE offers a CONFIDENTIAL 24-hour hotline answered by retired law enforcement officers who have access to continuous critical clinical support in order to help callers through the initial crisis as well as provide ongoing assistance with the successful management of various psychosocial stressors that impact a significant number of law enforcement officers and families throughout the U.S.


LIFELINE CRISIS CHAT - A online help chat that is part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. Get help via chat instead of telephone call.

CRISIS TEXT LINE- Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text 741741 from anywhere in the USto text with a trained Crisis Counselor. Crisis Text Line trains volunteers to support people in crisis. 


911 WELLNESS FOUNDATION - The foundation's mission is to foster optimal health fueling resilience, peak performance, and a high Quality of Life (at work and at home) for our nation’s 911 Public Safety Telecommunicators (PST).

FIREFIGHTER BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ALLIANCE - The mission of Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance is to collaborate, develop and implement behavioral health awareness, prevention, intervention, and post crisis strategies to provide firefighters with an easily accessible and confidential source of information.


1ST ALLIANCE - First Alliance is working to bring together First Responders and a variety of resource that can assist in the time of need. They have 3 primary goals: to provide a central Global support database so First Responders can confidentially find spiritual and emotional help, to form an alliance of First Responders that can change legislation and benefits, and to collect post traumatic stress injury and suicide data that can be presented to affect change.


THE CODE GREEN CAMPAIGN - The campaign has two main goals. The primary goal is raising awareness of the high rates of mental health issues, substance abuse and suicide among first responders. The secondary goal is providing education for responders on how to provide care for themselves and recognize issues in their peers.


BLUE HELP- It is the mission of Blue H.E.L.P. to reduce mental health stigma through education, advocate for benefits for those suffering from post-traumatic stress, acknowledge the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers we lost to suicide, assist officers in their search for healing, and to bring awareness to suicide and mental health issues.

MAKE A SAFE CALL NOW:  206-459-3020
Crisis Hotline Staffed By First Responders For First Responders

New On First Responder Suicide

  • More Officers and Firefighters Died of Suicide than Line-of-Duty Deaths in 2017

  • National Data Shows Firefighters’ Mental, Emotional Health Not Getting Enough Attention

  • Tackling the Stigma: Copline Hotline Helps Officers Struggling with Mental Health

  • A Quiet Rise in Wildland Firefighter Suicides


Do you have a story to share about how PTSD, Compassion Fatigue, or Burnout has affected you?  Have you struggled with suicidal thoughts but have found help and healing?  Or have you lost a first responder to suicide?  We want to hear your story.  Share with us your experiences and thoughts.



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