How often are the questions asked – “Was there something I should have caught?” “Could I have done something that would have made a difference?” “How could this happen?”
According to Retired Fire Captain Jeff Dill and the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance, there have been 71 firefighter suicides in 2015 alone. That number will rise after Sunday’s incident in Katy, Texas.
It’s a beast in hiding. It’s strength comes from secrecy. If suicidal thoughts aren’t shared, the beast becomes overwhelming.
Are there signs you can look out for? Yes.
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
- Looking for a way to kill oneself such as searching online or buying a gun.
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
- Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain.
- Talking about being a burden to others.
- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs.
- Acting anxious or agitated or behaving recklessly.
- Sleeping too little or too much.
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
If you see any of these signs in your partner – or yourself – bring the beast out of hiding. It loses all it’s strength, and you can keep yourself and those that mean the most to you Free From The Fire.
Crisis Lines and Online Supports.
- First Responder specific, Safe Call Now- http://www.safecallnow.org or 206-459-3020
- Firestrong, firefighter online- http://www.firestrong.org
- National Programs on Suicide: http://www.suicide.org or 1-800-SUICIDE
- National suicide prevention lifeline- 800-273-8255
Resources and Sources of Information
- National Center for PTSD *- http://www.ptsd.va.gov
- American Psychological Association- http://www.apa.org
- National Fallen Firefighters Foundation: http://www.firehero.org
- National Volunteer Fire Council: http://www.nvfc.org