Tuesday, August 13, 2019

‘Call for Backup’ before suicide creeps into their thoughts

Police, first responders urged to ‘Call for Backup’ before suicide creeps into their thoughts

News Herald
By Jackie Harrison-Martin
Aug 12, 2019
According to the program, people who choose suicide often keep up a “normal” appearance because they’ve hidden a lot of things away inside their own “hurt locker,” a personal “locker” where stress is stored and hidden.”

Far too many times, three words have been exceptionally difficult for police officers, firefighters and other first responders to say — “I need help.”

It has come at a high cost, and that is that is changing.

David Edwards is the founder and president of Call for Backup, a program focusing on the mental health for emergency and rescue personnel with the end goal being to reduce incidents of suicides.

He coordinates a two-day training class that gives first responders the tools needed to help recognize when they or one of their own is overwhelmed, detect when stress is building and make reaching out for help an easier stop.

It was Edwards, a Taylor resident, who came up with the name for the program that was launched three years ago and is now being taught in numerous states.

He said the name is one first responders can relate to because they recognize what it means out in the field.

When officers need help mentally, he hopes it will be viewed with the same understanding and ease that calling for backup brings on the job.
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