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Tearing Down the Wall: Preventing Suicide among First Responders

May 2, 2016

“Have you ever thought about taking your own life?” It’s a shocking question, but if you know someone in crisis, asking might just save their life. The Canadian Police Knowledge Network, in collaboration with York Regional Police and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), is offering a new training course to raise awareness about suicide and mental health among police and first responders. Suicide Awareness and Prevention is designed to help members of the first responder community recognize suicide risk and understand how to support mental health and well-being in the workplace. Development of this course was funded, in part, by the Motorola Solutions Foundation. “Overcoming the stigma of a mental illness or problem is the greatest barrier to officers getting the help they need,” says Sgt. Beth Milliard of York Regional Police’s Peer Support Unit and subject matter expert for the course. “In a culture that can view itself as bulletproof, asking for help, or even acknowledging that you need it, is often viewed as a sign of weakness. In fact, it’s the…

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