Aspen Ideas: Health Goes Engaging Local Issues Series: Colorado’s first responders are three times more likely to die by suicide than injuries incurred on duty. With a higher than average suicide rate, natural disasters, and back-country fatalities, the idyllic landscape we call home sometimes masks treachery that takes a toll on the mental health of emergency responders. As an added dynamic, front-line heroes often hail from the same small mountain towns as those they rescue. Trained to be calm and composed in high-stress situations, many have tried to hide their own PTSD and other emotional challenges. Fortunately, as stigma gives way to openly acknowledging a widespread problem, and the importance of mental health education and counseling are recognized, the culture is starting to change. How do we protect those who protect us?
John TorresMedical Correspondent, NBC News/MSNBC
Christine MoutierChief Medical Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Rhonda KellyFounder and CEO, ResponderStrong
Rick BalentineFire Chief and CEO, Aspen Fire Protection District
Scott FitzwilliamsForest Supervisor, White River National Forest, US Forest Service
- 2019 Health