Come join us for the 3rd annual “Riding for Life!” An event designed to bring awareness to First Responder Stress and Suicide.
Shiftwork, long hours, unpredictability, witnessing horrors on the job, and compassion fatigue are things that EMS professionals must endure.
These things, with the added stress of the COVID pandemic, increase the chances of EMS professionals and all first responders needing to seek out support for mental health or substance use disorder.
According to the Ruderman White Paper on Mental Health and Suicide of First Responders:
– In 2017, there were at least 103 firefighter suicides and 140 police officer suicides. – In contrast, 93 firefighters and 129 police officers died in the line of duty.
– On average, police officers witness 188 ‘critical incidents’ during their careers.
– Exposure to trauma can lead to several forms of mental illness. For example, PTSD and depression rates among firefighters and police officers have been found to be as much as 5 times higher than the rates within the civilian population.
The white paper describes barriers that prevent first responders from accessing necessary mental health services to help them cope with trauma. Experts describe the shame and stigma surrounding mental health within professions that prioritize bravery and toughness, and the public remains largely unaware of these issues, since the vast majority of first responder suicides are not covered by the mainstream media.
“First responders are heroes who run towards danger every day in order to save the lives of others. They are also human beings, and their work exerts a toll on their mental health,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “It is our obligation to support them in every way possible – to make sure that they feel welcome and able to access life-saving mental health care.”
The event is FREE, and all are encouraged to attend, regardless of vehicle type!
For planning purposes, we would like to ask that attendees please register in advance here: