Heroes Remembered

Portraits of First Responders Lost to Suicide

Brendan - Police Officer, FL
1.21.79 - 1.21.21
Kaitlin - Firefighter/Paramedic, Iowa
10.30.94 - 4.27.22
Pablo- Detective, New Jersey
10.26.76 - 12.26.18
Shelane - Police Officer, Fairfax County
10.28.79 - 06.12.15
Eric - Firefighter, California
12.21.70 - 06.24.19
Chris - State Trooper, Massachusetts
02.18.72 - 02.25.16
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The Exhibit

The Quell Foundation and INTO LIGHT have come together to bring awareness to the often overlooked issue of mental health in the first responder community. In conjunction with screenings of our international, award-winning documentary, First Responders Sound the Alarm, we have commissioned this exhibit of original graphite portraits, and corresponding narratives, reflecting first responders from across the United States who have died by suicide.

The Goal

With this Heroes Remembered exhibit, we introduce the deleterious results of negative mental health and wellness within the first responder community to the conversation. In doing so, we provide an opportunity to start a dialogue around the stigma of mental health, the primary obstacle to getting support and necessary treatment, resulting from the compounding trauma experienced by our nation’s first responders.

The Numbers

  • From 2017 to November, 2023, Blue H.E.L.P reported 1,337 first responders who have lost their lives to suicides. However, it is believed that these figures may be significantly underreported and the true extent of the issue is much greater. ( Source: Blue H.E.L.P.)
  • “The CDC has found that occupational stress in first responders can be associated with increased risk of serious mental health issues including hopelessness, anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress, and suicidal behaviors such as suicidal ideation and actualized attempts.” (Source: Physchiatric Times
  • Both police officers and firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. (Source: CDC)