Suicide prevention resources for first responders
From police officers to firefighters, studies show that suicide continues to outpace other causes of death for first responders
Law enforcement has made significant gains in raising awareness around suicide among first responders. But sometimes the very messages used to promote awareness can cause harm and undermine suicide prevention efforts.
Fortunately, there is a safe way to talk about suicide. Find out actionable steps public safety professionals can take to create honest, empathetic, effective messages that support departmental prevention efforts and focus on solutions in a webinar now available for On Demand viewing.
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 year and 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.
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 matches first responders with appropriate services based on a brief questionnaire, which determines what specific assistance you need (emotional, financial, religious, etc.).
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 provides resources and strategies to help cops live happy and successful lives.
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
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.
The following organizations are working to raise mental health awareness and treatment options for police officers.
Blue H.E.L.P. is an organization working to reduce mental health stigma in law enforcement and raise awareness of the problem of suicide in LE.
Badge of Life
Badge of Life’s focus is educating and training agencies on mental health and suicide prevention in law enforcement.
Whether you’re in a leadership role or on the front line, these books offer a wealth of information and guidance on the issues of mental health and suicide in law enforcement.
From choosing the right mental health clinician to breaking the mental health stigma in law enforcement, the following is a collection of content on PoliceOne for police officers at all levels.