The Mask and The Reality
I often receive messages from my peers reaching out and asking for help, I'm so happy this happens as I know they are at least asking for help. When suicides happen they are sometimes so unexpected "I had no idea he was suffering" "He seemed so happy and had everything to live for"
This image is called The Mask and The Reality. The next unexpected suicide may be someone on your department or even your partner and he/she is keeping their struggle so well hidden that it will shock everyone when they take their life. These are the ones I worry about, the ones that feel there's no help for them or that they are too embarrassed or ashamed to admit they need help. They live everyday in a struggle, pretending everything is okay and hiding their true pain from everyone...until they can't hide it any longer and believe taking their life is the only option they have.
If you're looking at this image and reading this post and can relate to what I'm saying then believe me you're not alone. There are ways to get help where nobody else will know. There is a way out. Here are some of your options, please choose one:
Frontline Helpline – 1-866-676-7500
Run by Frontline Responder Services. Offer 24/7 coverage with first responder call-takers.
OSILink – 1-844-951-4163
A Canada-wide, toll-free, confidential support line for first responders and their families
Blue Light Programme
UK – A program run by the UK organization Mind. They provide mental health education and support to emergency services staff in England.
Sirens of Silence
Australia – Sirens of Silence is a charity in West Australia that was founded in 2015 after a surge in the number of suicides within the Ambulance Service in W.A. They raise awareness, and provide education and support for all emergency services.
Stay safe everyone and lets watch out for each other.
From Emergency Response Portraits