Our nation's hometown heroes sacrifice in many ways to serve their community. It's becoming clear that their dedication to our safety comes at a significant cost to their mental health. Serving the community should not be a death sentence.
ESO is dedicating its mission to supporting first responders, frontline medical personnel, and others who acquire trauma in the service of others. Heroes 4 Heroes is one of our initiatives.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW NEEDS HELP
Heroes 4 Heroes provides events and services like peer support, the Horses & Warriors Support Sessions, outdoor events, and more!
Talk to people who know what it is like to respond to emergencies and are here to support you.
Our Horses & Warriors program partners with Happy Rascal Ranch to provide healing experiences working as a team and spending time with horses.
Get fresh air and exercise while we let our demons off our shoulders for once. Join H4H for our monthly H4H Hiking Group. Different trails every month and all public servants are welcome to attend! Sometimes families join us, all are welcome.
Suicide rates among first responders are only a snapshot of a larger, untracked problem within the public safety community. Suicide among previous first responders and retirees are not tracked and as high, or higher than estimates. For example, one study estimated that 100 firefighters commit suicide each year, including volunteers, yet 22 on average were reported.
In 2022 America Lost at Least 196 Heroes to Suicide
Working the streets and communities of the United States causes rates of PTSD higher than military veterans in general, and as high as veterans who served in active combat in America's wars. What does that say about our society?
Like the military, PTSD and other mental health disorders impact our professionals and have been made to "suffer in silence". The public safety, frontline medical, and other similar professions have made progress in providing resources and opening up to the psychological pain of their employees, both paid and volunteer. Yet, not enough progress has been made if we keep losing these heroes to suicide before they have reached out for help.
After caring for babies mutilated by their parents, picking up the body parts of innocent civilians killed by drunk drivers, and other unimaginable sights, it's hard for first responders to trust the average counselor, psychologist, or therapist to consult them. Though all are trained to meet their profession's standards, cultural competence among mental health professionals in the treatment of the type of trauma that survivors of significant psychological trauma is essential. More of these culturally competent professionals exist and are dedicating their time to responding to the calls our heroes respond to. However, the need for these professionals is much greater than the demand.
Our society is seeing more violence, more illness, and more calls for service. With the current overwhelming demand for resources and the future needs of our community, as many specialized and appropriate resources are needed. Every hero is a unique human being with different needs.