Firefighter’s death raises mental health awareness

ORLAND PARK, Ill. — A firefighter’s suicide is fueling the push for mental health services for first responders.

Ryan Elwood took his own life in 2015.

A golf outing is taking place on Wednesday in Orland Park as part of continuing efforts to raise awareness about counseling and training.

“RE; ACT,” which stands for Ryan Elwood, awareness, counseling and training, aims to improve the mental health of police officers, firefighters and all first responders.

More first responders take their own lives each year than die in the line of duty.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker just signed a new bill that establishes a peer support group for first responders, and also creates a new suicide prevention task force.

“React4Ryan” teamed up with Illinois Senator Bill Cunningham and Illinois Representative Fran Hurley to help get this bill passed

For more information, go to React4 Ryan.com.

Ryan Elwood is the nephew of WGN reporter Patrick Elwood.

 

 

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