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25th Annual Crisis Intervention Conference
September 17 @ 8:30 am - 10:30 am
Session 17 – Law Enforcement Suicide
Presenters: Karen Solomon, Co-Founder, Blue H.E.L.P., ShaRonda Young Calderon, B.S, Criminal Justice, Dallas, TX, and Amanda Rae Button, Wife and Survivor
Law enforcement suicide has become a national issue garnering media attention and improved wellness programs. Blue H.E.L.P. has been collecting LE suicide data since January 1, 2016 and has found that the greatest barrier to seeking help is still fear of the stigma. This panel will discuss best practices in first responder wellness while using experiences of officers lost to suicide to reinforce the message. This powerful program will encourage you to join the movement to change the way law enforcement addresses emotional wellness and supports the families in the aftermath.
- Participants will understand law enforcement suicide statistics and how they are used to change LE culture.
- Participants will understand the impact stigma has on first responders and how to help change the narrative.
- Participants will be equipped to discuss mental health with first responders in an open and non-threatening manner.
Presenter Biographies: Karen Solomon is the co-founder of Blue H.E.L.P. creator of www.1sthelp.net and the author of Hearts Beneath the Badge and The Price They Pay as well as many articles about law enforcement suicide. Her focus is the stories of the families who have lost an officer to suicide and the officers who suffer with the feeling that they have nowhere to turn. Karen was a member of the 2018 Officer Safety and Wellness Group Meeting, the co-Chair of the Data and Research Committee of the National Consortium on Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention and is currently on the FBI task force to implement the Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act. Karen is also the wife of a police officer.
ShaRonda Young Calderon is the widow of Deputy Homero Calderon, an 18-year veteran with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, who died by suicide on June 29, 2018. She has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Dallas Baptist University and currently pursuing advance studies in psychology. She and her husband started their career together in law enforcement with the Sheriff’s Department in 2000. She currently works as a legal assistant for a small law firm in Dallas, Texas. ShaRonda has become an advocate for mental health and suicide awareness because she understands the difficulties living with and the stigma attached to it.
Amanda Rae Button is a 33 year old mom to a spunky 3 year old. At just 30 years old, two months after their daughter was born, Amanda Rae found herself a widow due to PTSD that claimed her law enforcement husband, Chris’s life. Now, as she figures her way through life with suicide grief and being a new mom, she tells her story. Her goal is to spread the less talked about awareness of what suicide, specifically law enforcement suicide can do to those left behind.