Firefighters are asked to face horrors few can imagine, from mass casualty events to the intimate pain of a child dying in their arms. It can take its toll on even the strongest individuals. Sometimes, the stress boils over. Sometimes, it can kill.

Last year, more firefighters died from suicide than from on-duty events. National surveys suggest nearly one in three firefighters have considered suicide. In the last two months, three California firefighters died by their own hand. In many cases, post-traumatic stress injury is the cause, and all too often, our brothers and sisters suffer in silence.

September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. To help bring this pain out of the shadows, we are calling on all California fire departments to participate in a Behavioral Health Suicide Prevention and Awareness Safety Stand-Down.