First responders, such as emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, and firefighters, risk their lives every day for their communities all across the United States. Sadly, despite being dangerous professions, these individuals' lives are being taken more frequently by their own hands than by being on-duty.
Studies have shown that emergency medical services (EMS) providers are more likely than other Americans to take their own lives. In 2017, 93 firefighters died in the line of duty, while 103 died by suicide. Meanwhile, an estimated 400 doctors die by suicide each year. Upwards of 15% of firefighters have attempted to kill themselves. These figures are likely far lower than the reality; experts say as many as 40 percent of suicides are not reported. Clearly, these high stress positions do not come with enough mental health care and support.
It's obvious that the mental and emotional scarring that come from being a first responder are enormous. Add your name to this petition to call on Congress to pass new legislation putting resources into raising mental health awareness and providing professional support for these brave individuals!