Don't Miss Rob's First Post!

So why is Rob writing a blog anyway? Read here to find out.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Reducing the Stigma – World Mental Health Day

A guest post by Public Safety Program Coordinator Lora Setter 

World Mental Health Day is Saturday, October 10. It’s a day set aside for people across the world to focus on mental health awareness, education, and ending the stigma.

Recently, I read a newspaper article where an Iraqi war veteran talked openly about his struggles with mental health. He shared how he was making plans to end his life when a friend called and invited him out for pie. That invitation ultimately saved his life. He now trains soldiers about mental health concerns and — though he believes the stigma of suffering from a mental illness is changing — he readily admits that stigma still exists. 

Just like the military, public safety organizations are working to bring more awareness to mental health, making it “OK to not be OK.” Even though efforts have been made to destigmatize post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions, change is slow. 

Needing to admit to a mental illness can still be viewed by some as shameful and weak. These feelings may cause those that suffer not to get the help they need, which is tragic because PTSD and other mental health conditions are treatable!

Mental health resources available to all public safety personnel are confidential, no-cost, 24-hour hotlines. Hotlines provide immediate, stigma-free help when people may need it most. For more public safety mental health resources, visit — or see below for some hotline numbers specific to public safety.

24-Hour Hotlines
This list of resources was compiled in part with information from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Bulletproof offers anonymous and confidential access to health and wellness initiatives, support, information, and resources. Their confidential support line can be reached at (800) 273-8255.

The Minnesota Firefighter Initiative (MnFIRE) is dedicated to providing Minnesota’s firefighters with the tools they need to prioritize and protect their health. Their peer support hotline is (888) 784-6634.

Copline offers trained peer support and referrals for continued assistance. Their confidential support line is 800-COPLINE (800-267-5463).

The confidential Fire/EMS Helpline was created for first responders by members of the fire service. This program is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of firefighters, EMTs, rescue personnel, and their families. Reach them at (888) 731-FIRE (3473).

Safe Call Now 
Safe Call Now is a confidential crisis referral service for public safety and emergency services personnel. Call them at (206) 459-3020.

Let’s all continue to work to end the stigma about PTSD and other mental health conditions in public safety. Remember: reaching out for help by calling a hotline number or talking to someone is not a sign of weakness — it is a sign of strength. 

Up next: Election security tips and suggestions

Stay safe and stay well,

No comments: