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Counseling, programs address rate of suicide among emergency responders

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SALT LAKE CITY — Veterans are at a higher risk for suicide than the general public and so are police officers, firefighters and EMTs.

The rate of officer suicide is two to four times higher than in the general population. More officers take their own lives than are killed in the line of duty.

But agencies across the country are only beginning to address the issue of PTSD. We discovered Salt Lake fire and police departments have increased their efforts to educate their first responders that mental illness is not a character flaw and asking for help is never a sign of weakness.

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