By Charistin Clark, WCIV:
September is Suicide Awareness Month, and first responder suicide rates are on the rise.
Firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty, according to a study done by the Ruderman Family Foundation.
North Charleston firefighter Ben Dye has faced his own mental health struggles. He says he finally realized he needed help while watching a movie, then told his wife the truth.
“There was the scene in the movie that was the final straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Dye. “Next week, we went to Savannah just to get some time away and that’s when I told her that I did not feel like living anymore. In a coffee shop on Riverfront.”
“In March of 2022, I went to a program called Shatterproof, and it’s mainly for first responders for mental health, PTSD, substance abuse.”
Nowadays, when he is not helping the community, he is helping other firefighters as a peer counselor for the Lowcountry Firefighter Support Team.
“To pay it forward and have the opportunity to have an impact on somebody’s life, you can’t replace that.”
Read the full story here.