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Start the Conversation is a video-based learning course designed to provide students with information about public safety induced stress and PTSD.

A 2018 study concluded that more law enforcement officers and firefighters died by suicide in 2017 than all line-of-duty deaths combined. That same study found that public safety personnel are five times more likely to suffer symptoms of PTSD and depression than their civilian counterparts. GPSTC wants to help eliminate the stigma associated with mental health issues and encourage responders from all disciplines to Start the Conversation that may save the lives of our brothers and sisters in public safety.

Start the Conversation is a video-based learning course designed to provide students with information about public safety induced stress and PTSD. The course also provides public safety personnel with information for recognizing the symptoms of stress, PTSD, and suicide. The video includes personal stories from public safety personnel from law enforcement, fire, ems, and communications. Information is provided about peer support, CISM, and other resources available to public safety when faced with stress, PTSD, thoughts of suicide, and line of duty injuries or deaths.

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Testimonials



"Great course, lets [sic] all public safety feel o.k. to open up."

-Law Enforcement

Start the Conversation
2019-02-12T17:22:56+00:00
"Great course, lets [sic] all public safety feel o.k. to open up." -Law Enforcement



"This was one of the best classes to come out of GPSTC. In my opinion, we do not talk about emotional well being enough. The course is well presented and gives the students who may have suicidal thoughts or other mental issues, an understanding that they are not alone. Good job GPSTC!"

-Law Enforcement

Start the Conversation
2019-08-19T16:23:44+00:00
"This was one of the best classes to come out of GPSTC. In my opinion, we do not talk about emotional well being enough. The course is well presented and gives the students who may have suicidal thoughts or other mental issues, an understanding that they are not alone. Good job GPSTC!" -Law Enforcement



"I appreciate the information as it will save a life of a co-worker whose to proud to ask for help. I can become a voice for those that refuse to speak."

-Communications

Start the Conversation
2019-08-19T16:33:15+00:00
"I appreciate the information as it will save a life of a co-worker whose to proud to ask for help. I can become a voice for those that refuse to speak." -Communications



"Good to know we have as many resources at our fingertips as we do. My hope is anyone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression, we seek appropriate help."

-Law Enforcement

Start the Conversation
2019-08-19T16:29:42+00:00
"Good to know we have as many resources at our fingertips as we do. My hope is anyone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression, we seek appropriate help." -Law Enforcement



"This course was amazing! I feel that it should be mandatory for all Police, Fire, EMS, and Dispatch personnel. This training allowed me to take a closer look at myself and realize that I am "normal" for feeling the way that I have felt in the past. It was great hearing the candid stories from the people in uniform. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!"

-Law Enforcement

Start the Conversation
2019-08-19T16:11:10+00:00
"This course was amazing! I feel that it should be mandatory for all Police, Fire, EMS, and Dispatch personnel. This training allowed me to take a closer look at myself and realize that I am "normal" for feeling the way that I have felt in the past. It was great hearing the candid stories from the people in uniform. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!" -Law Enforcement



"Excellent video with great information. Thank you for including dispatchers who often get overlooked as first responders!"

-Communications

Start the Conversation
2019-02-12T17:56:12+00:00
"Excellent video with great information. Thank you for including dispatchers who often get overlooked as first responders!" -Communications



"This is by far, the best online class I have ever taken! As an E911 Communications Officer, I have taken numerous suicide calls. This was a very honest, in depth, heart touching presentation. THANK YOU!!!"

-Communications

Start the Conversation
2019-08-19T16:15:12+00:00
"This is by far, the best online class I have ever taken! As an E911 Communications Officer, I have taken numerous suicide calls. This was a very honest, in depth, heart touching presentation. THANK YOU!!!" -Communications



"I personally think all personnel in public safety should be mandated once a year for mandatory training requirements.  Arena of mental health has long been overlooked, discouraged, and stigmatized.  These types of courses that address this issue head on will be the only way to bridge from stigma to understanding.  This has become a national crisis epidemic and I am glad people are beginning to address it. Much respect for all the men and women in uniform that faced the camera to share their story to save a life.”

-Fire Service

Start the Conversation
2019-02-12T17:58:00+00:00
"I personally think all personnel in public safety should be mandated once a year for mandatory training requirements.  Arena of mental health has long been overlooked, discouraged, and stigmatized.  These types of courses that address this issue head on will be the only way to bridge from stigma to understanding.  This has become a national crisis epidemic and I am glad people are beginning to address it. Much respect for all the men and women in uniform that faced the camera to share their story to save a life.” -Fire Service



"What a wonderful initiative and well-done documentary! As a long-term veteran law enforcement officer, presently in a command position within my agency, I found this information to be extremely relevant to my job assignment. I vividly recall those times in this profession when all of us were encouraged and expected to "just deal with it," whenever traumatic events occurred. I was also one who masked job stress fairly well, but it seems clear almost 3 decades later that I was not always successful in properly processing my stress. I am in a position where my experience and training may be useful to someone else in this profession, and I think it begins with each officer under my command watching this video. Thank you GPSTC for caring about the many thousands of us working to protect the citizens of our State!"

-Law Enforcement

Start the Conversation
2019-08-19T16:27:02+00:00
"What a wonderful initiative and well-done documentary! As a long-term veteran law enforcement officer, presently in a command position within my agency, I found this information to be extremely relevant to my job assignment. I vividly recall those times in this profession when all of us were encouraged and expected to "just deal with it," whenever traumatic events occurred. I was also one who masked job stress fairly well, but it seems clear almost 3 decades later that I was not always successful in properly processing my stress. I am in a position where my experience and training may be useful to someone else in this profession, and I think it begins with each officer under my command watching this video. Thank you GPSTC for caring about the many thousands of us working to protect the citizens of our State!" -Law Enforcement



"I cannot express how grateful I am to have taken this course. FF III Sam Garrison was both a friend and a co-worker. Unfortunately, I have been to more Firefighter funerals due to suicide than I have any other job on the job related death. This is truly tragic because suicide could be 100% preventable. Keep up the excellent work."

-Fire Services

Start the Conversation
2019-08-19T16:31:51+00:00
"I cannot express how grateful I am to have taken this course. FF III Sam Garrison was both a friend and a co-worker. Unfortunately, I have been to more Firefighter funerals due to suicide than I have any other job on the job related death. This is truly tragic because suicide could be 100% preventable. Keep up the excellent work." -Fire Services



"This is an outstanding documentary that will surely start the conversation about mental health issues that affect public safety personnel and their families. I volunteer with Illinois Firefighter Peer Support, and I agree with the officer in the video that it is the best thing I have ever done in my firefighting career. Thank you all for sharing these stories."

-Fire Services

Start the Conversation
2019-02-12T17:30:40+00:00
"This is an outstanding documentary that will surely start the conversation about mental health issues that affect public safety personnel and their families. I volunteer with Illinois Firefighter Peer Support, and I agree with the officer in the video that it is the best thing I have ever done in my firefighting career. Thank you all for sharing these stories." -Fire Services



"I had a really good friend of mine take his own life by suicide. He was a great detective and friend. I took this class in honor of him and am glad I did. I hope I can help someone in the future. Eve did a great job. I am glad to call her my friend."

-Law Enforcement

Start the Conversation
2019-02-12T17:28:00+00:00
"I had a really good friend of mine take his own life by suicide. He was a great detective and friend. I took this class in honor of him and am glad I did. I hope I can help someone in the future. Eve did a great job. I am glad to call her my friend." -Law Enforcement



"The video is extremely good. Very moving and it hit right at home. Great integration with the actual members, effected by these significant incidents. Well put together and highly recommended for all public safety employees to see."

-Law Enforcement

Start the Conversation
2019-08-19T15:36:18+00:00
"The video is extremely good. Very moving and it hit right at home. Great integration with the actual members, effected by these significant incidents. Well put together and highly recommended for all public safety employees to see." -Law Enforcement



"The acknowledgement of this matter is so preventive in Law Enforcement. However, I didn't think of how it has affected [sic] the Fire Department or Communication Staff.”

-Law Enforcement

Start the Conversation
2019-02-12T17:28:52+00:00
"The acknowledgement of this matter is so preventive in Law Enforcement. However, I didn't think of how it has affected [sic] the Fire Department or Communication Staff.” -Law Enforcement

 



"I was thoroughly impressed by this course.  I wish I had it 20 yrs ago where I might have been able to help one of my brother officers who had committed suicide. I think this should be a mandatory course for all 1st responders.”

-Law Enforcement

Start the Conversation
2019-02-12T17:59:07+00:00
  "I was thoroughly impressed by this course.  I wish I had it 20 yrs ago where I might have been able to help one of my brother officers who had committed suicide. I think this should be a mandatory course for all 1st responders.” -Law Enforcement

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