Inspired by fallen firefighter, group works to prevent suicide among first responders

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MERRIONETTE PARK, Ill. — A fundraiser brought a community together to help first responders struggling with mental health issues Saturday in the southwest suburbs.

RE;ACT 4 Ryan was founded and named in remembrance of Ryan Elwood, a hometown firefighter who was battling PTSD when he took his own life three years ago.

The organization works to promote mental health awareness, counseling and training for first responders. In just the last three months, three Chicago police officers have committed suicide.

Elwood’s family, friends and colleagues joined together to develop a program that aims to educate and teach people to spot the warning signs. RE;ACT has raised more than $250,000 to pay for first responder training and intervention so far.



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