The Hero School extends its deepest sympathies to the family of Karl Meek, along with the entire Hennepin County, Minnesota emergency services family, and every emergency response unit that has lost a brother or sister. Hero Meek took his own life on April 21, 2020.
Tragically, suicide has become the #1 cause of death among firefighters. Captain Dave reminds all Heroes and Heroes-in-training of the critical importance of caring for their mental and emotional health. If you are struggling or see one of your brethren in the service struggling, please seek support. Remember always that admitting vulnerability is an act of strength.
And to everyone experiencing an emotional toll during this period of isolation, know that you are truly not alone. If you have had suicidal thoughts or know someone showing signs of serious depression or anxiety, please reach out for help immediately. There are a number of emergency mental health services available by phone or online, 24/7. We are with you. Our only path through this time alone is to live it together.
Critical phone numbers appear below, but if you cannot remember them in a moment of crisis, simply call 911 and state that you need emergency mental health assistance.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255
Trans Lifeline, 877-565-8860
Trevor Project, 866-488-7386
or Text START to the Crisis Text Line, 741-741
Video of Hennepin County Responders’ tribute to Karl Meek: https://youtu.be/rmmI_muAbWE
Information on the growing suicide rate in emergency services: https://www.delmarvanow.com/story/life/2019/09/23/firefighter-suicide-mental-health-culture-maryland-delaware-virginia-salisbury/1300515001