Tampa leaders reveal initiative to help first responders on World Suicide Prevention Day

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – In observance of World Suicide Prevention Day, several Bay area leaders will reveal a new initiative Tuesday to help curb suicides among first responders in the Tampa Bay area.

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Tampa Police Department and Tampa Fire and Rescue will come together to announce a vital new initiative powered and created by local advertising agency, Chappell Roberts.

Officials plan to make an announcement at 10:30 a.m.

The latest numbers from a recent study in 2017 show that nationally, 103 firefighters and 140 police officers died by suicide.

The numbers for 2018 have yet to be reported.

Some of these cases hit close to home.

In 2017, Tampa firefighter-paramedic Steve Ladue killed himself.

Last year, Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy Terry Strawn, took his life after investigators say he killed three members of his family.

Pasco County deputy, April Rodriguez, mother of three, took her life earlier this year in February.

“We know that suicides across our countries is at epidemic proportions. We’ve seen that through the CDC. We’ve seen that all over the news and the media. The piece that is so disheartening, is that this is one death that is 100% preventable and really combat that stigma, stereotype by continuing to have awareness by continuing to talk about suicide,” said Clara Reynolds, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay President & CEO.

If you’re thinking about suicide or worried about someone who might be, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to connect with a local crisis center. You can also text the Crisis Text Line by messaging 741741. 

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