I am angry.
On March 17th, another Canadian police officer, an RCMP officer, died by suicide. Since the beginning of the year, 12 first responders and 3 military members have died by suicide. I talk about this topic a lot, mostly because it blows me away that this is happening and the stats are rapidly increasing, yet the preventative measures taken by work places are either zero or really slow to come into action.
9.2% of Canadians will experience PTSD. First responders experience this at two times the rate.
So I am angry. I am angry that this keeps happening and I am angry that I have to keep writing the same frustrations year after year.
I am angry that I have to advocate for my husband by calling out his workplace organization regarding their lack of efforts when it comes to suicide prevention and programs/resources for struggling members.
I am angry that human beings are going through this type of pain because of their work with little help from their work.
I am angry at the bullying and minimalization of feelings surrounding those with PTSD.
So what can we do?
A and B include talking.
a) If you’re related to or friends with a first responder, encourage them. Encourage them to talk to you or talk to a professional if they have went through a traumatic situation. Help them know that it’s okay to talk to someone about it. Knowing they are supported by friends or family makes all the difference.
b) Just keep talking. Talk or write to politicians. Talk on Facebook or Twitter or blogs. Words out: This is NOT okay and for whatever reason, the actual deaths are not getting the attention needed to create change.
PS. As always, I am in no way diminishing those with PTSD unrelated to first responders. This topic is especially close to me so I write about what I know.