Firefighters fight more than fire, many are battling with their mental health

A firefighter puts his or her life on the line every day but it's not the job that's killing them, but rather suicide.

Posted: Jan 17, 2020 12:11 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- A firefighter puts his or her life on the line every day but it's not the job that's killing them, but rather suicide.

Multiple studies show suicide rates are increasing nationwide.

According to the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance, last year 113 firefighters died by taking their own life. While 58 died in the line of duty.

News 10 sat down with Meghan Creech, chair of the zero suicide initiative and director of adult services at the Hamilton Center.

She dove deeper into the reason for the alarming statistics. 

"When looking at suicide especially from a public figure, I think oftentimes it goes by the waist side and we don't realize the actual trauma that they are experiencing on a day to day basis," Creech explained.

In fact, many high profile deaths hardly make it on the news. The statistics that you do see are only about 40% of deaths that occur.

Here's something to think about. First responders have PTSD and depression at a level five times the amount of a regular civilian.

Stabbing, house fires, and car accidents... they've seen it all, but the hardest part for many is acknowledging the trauma and talking about it.

Creech says lowering the numbers starts by having a conversation.

"Let someone know what you're feeling. Oftentimes you're not alone, and we want to give hope we want to build hope. We appreciate the jobs that these individuals are doing on a day to day basis but we also recognize that it can be traumatic," Creech said.

The Hamilton Center also offers programs for those who need help. For more information, click here.

Article Comments

Terre Haute
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 42°
Robinson
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 42°
Indianapolis
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 42°
Rockville
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 37°
Casey
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 40°
Brazil
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 42°
Marshall
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 42°
Mostly sunny and warmer
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events