The Gelt Charitable Foundation had the distinct honor of partnering with the Boston Fire Department to combat suicide among first responders. Over 1,500 Boston Firefighters were trained in suicide prevention this summer using Gelt Charitable Foundation’s new first responder curriculum.
A leading cause of death among firefighters is suicide. In 2019, over 118 firefighters died by suicide, a record high. It was this bone-chilling statistic, coupled with the aim to fight stigma within the first responder community that led the foundation to focus its attention on our nation’s finest.
“First responders are the tough guys, the Heroes with a capital H. But they’re also Humans, with a capital H,” shared Leigh Ioffe, the Director of Education at the Gelt Charitable Foundation. “They’re often the first to respond to a crisis and the last to receive help. We wanted to change that.”
The trainings, which ran from July 26 to September 15th, focused on the unique risks and contributors at play for increased suicide-risk among first responders and tools to help someone in crisis—even themselves. The training was developed specifically for BFD and is now being made widely available to first responders and armed forces around the country.
“We are so grateful to the men and women on the front lines who leave nothing on the table when it comes to helping the citizens of this great country,” shared Jack Miller, founder and President of the Gelt Charitable Foundation. “At the Gelt Charitable Foundation, we aim to provide every resource available to support the front-lines of their mental health, and are indebted to the Boston Fire Department for partnering with us on this crucial initiative.”
Learn more about our work with the Boston Fire Department by visiting: https://www.wcvb.com/article/boston-fire-focusing-on-mental-health-well-being-in-ranks/37169397
To read more about our work with other first responders, or to request a training, please visit: geltcharitable.foundation/mentalhealth