Brothers & Sisters,
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Firefighter behavioral health remains one of the biggest health and safety challenges facing our profession.
Next week, May 22nd through May 26th, California Professional Firefighters, California Fire Chiefs Association, Cal-OES, and the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee urge all agencies to set aside time to participate in a Suicide Prevention & Awareness Safety Stand Down.
Captains at stations have received resource packets from the California Fire Service Task Force on Behavioral Health, chaired by Local 1014 President Dave Gillotte, to help start the conversation. We ask that our Captains take the initiative and take the time to have conversations with your crews about behavioral health and resources available for our fire family.
Preventing suicide in the fire service starts with each and every one of us checking in on our own, having uncomfortable conversations, and recognizing the strength in vulnerability.
Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) is real, and there is a danger in ignoring it. During the upcoming stand down, take the time to address the impact the job can have on our behavioral health. Your participation could save a life.
Peer Support and Behavioral Health resources are available to any and all who feel they need them. You are never alone.