Being a First Responder involves risk. On a daily basis, members of these professions leave their domicile not knowing if they will return after their shift. Their lives can be ended by the actions of criminals, but far too often their lives are ended by themselves. It only takes the backwards movement of their index finger on the trigger of a gun.
Adjacent to that index finger is one's thumb; one such digit can end your life; the other can save it. If you are feeling down, depressed, under-appreciated, give yourself a well-deserved “Thumbs Up!”
You've never been a coward; the actions of your index finger is no place to start, and end. Being a First Responder requires Courage. You've got that; you always have. The attributes of Courage requires those who possess it a certain responsibility; to access such Courage in acknowledging that they themselves may need help in dealing with what they perceive as circumstances they see no way out of.
Operation: Thumbs Up! was created in response to an unprecedented lack of morale within the NYPD back in 2000. This included several suicides of Police Officers. Today, suicides by First Responders nationwide have reached historic levels. One perceived emotion of those who take their own lives are that they are alone.
You are not alone. Average, everyday American citizens may take it for granted that you make the sacrifice to protect them on a daily basis, but they do support you. Often, they do not express such support when they encounter you on the streets. All it would take them to lift your spirits would be to offer you a friendly “Thumbs-up” salute.
It's that simple, and it's free!
Here is a list of support services for First Responders:
AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION https://afsp.org
DRUGWATCH is a non-profit organization operating out of Florida that addresses the health care issues of Veterans. Kristen Zymowski is the Oureach Coordinator. DRUGWATCH.com. 407-930-4662. DRUGWATCH also operates a comprehensive Wellness program for Veterans at this address: https://www.drugwatch.com/health/veterans/
INTERATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHIEFS OF POLICE MENTAL WELLNESS PROGRAM https://www.theiacp.org/projects/mental-wellness-of-police-officers
LINES FOR LIFE https://www.linesforlife.org/
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES FOR MILITARY FAMILIES https://www.militaryonesource.mil/health-wellness/
NATIONAL POLICE DEFENSE FOUNDATION https://npdf1.org/
NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS https://www.va.gov/