The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s (NFFF) Everyone Goes Home® program is conducting a needs assessment to build effective suicide prevention and awareness programs. The NFFF has partnered with Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, a leading suicidologist with experience in developing innovative programs for first responders. As part of this assessment, Dr. Spencer-Thomas created a survey to gather feedback from fire service members (active, retired and non-uniformed), support groups (clinicians, EAP providers, chaplaincy groups, etc.) and family members.
“I am inspired to see how the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is tackling the issue of suicide head on,” said Dr. Spencer-Thomas. “This approach of deep listening followed by thoughtful strategy development is key in making successful inroads into suicide prevention.”
The NFFF encourages fire departments to distribute the survey to its members and use it as an opportunity to share other resources like the Pocket Peer mobile app, the “ACT Now! Ask.Care.Take.” downloadable poster and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number 1-800-273-TALK(8255).
In addition to this survey, Dr. Spencer-Thomas will be conducting focus groups, in-depth interviews and a literature review regarding first responders and suicide.
“We are fortunate to have partnered with Dr. Spencer-Thomas to address the issue of suicide in the fire service,” said Chief Ron Siarnicki, Executive Director of the NFFF. “Gathering and analyzing information directly from firefighters and their families will help build future awareness and prevention resources to support behavioral health needs.”