By Lesley Karonika
I am honored to announce I will be locking arms with this non-profit organization, Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance. Through my blog Jeff Dill, the founder of this organization reached out to me. It is obvious we share a common passion regarding PTSD. The comments on this blog will illuminate the growing need for PTSD education for those working “the streets.” So the question was proposed, “Why re-create the wheel?”
Jeff and I agree that my focus will be on EMS. This organization’s main objectives was focused on reporting Firefighter/Paramedic suicide. But Jeff does not want the EMS not affiliated with fire to be forgotten. This organization knows that EMS suicides are not being reported for his data collection due to many not knowing that this support system exists. He wants my help! I will help by posting in this blog that is now being read world wide. There is definitely a lack of knowledge about this particular organization. I, myself, researched in hopes of finding an organization similar to this one. I asked experienced paramedics. I searched the internet. When I came up empty handed I felt a calling that this issue of PTSD involving EMS needed to be addressed. So I thought creating a foundation of my own was the answer. Therefore, I started a fund. Many generous people that saw my same vision donated in an effort to help me get started. The total donation total was $230 to my fund! I was humbled. So, I gave all those that donated to my fund an option of a refund after I disclosed that I would instead be joining a non-profit with our vision. They did not want their money back. Instead, I will be not only donating the $230 but I am matching it! So a total of $460 will be going to this organization.
“Starting January 1, 2013, I am gathering information Internationally……..It should not be conceived as one of weakness but one where they might not have believed they had any other options to relieve their pain. FBHA is dedicated to collecting the most accurate numbers regarding FF suicides and then updates this number as information is confirmed. It is also FBHA’s objective to educate all of our brothers and sisters on suicide prevention through our workshop titled “Saving Those Who Save Others” in hopes to limit this number. “~ Jeff Dill
Thanks for all the support.
Please take a moment to check out this organization. And if you have known someone in EMS that has taken their life recently….check out the reporting system. Please help us help those that help others!