DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The trauma and stress of the job of first responders can take a toll on their mental health.
One Tribe Foundation, formerly known as 22 Kill, addresses the growing mental health issues for first responders and veterans.
The name change stems from the growing need to help more combat suicide.
They're now adding healthcare workers to that list due to the severe trauma many faced during the pandemic.
"I've been to so many funerals, I've buried so many friends," Jacob Schick, the companys CEO, said.
According to Blue H.E.L.P. (Honor Educate Lead Prevent), the amount of suicide-related deaths in first responders is climbing.
In 2019, 228 current or former officers died by suicide. That year Texas had 19 suicides, the third highest number of officer suicides in the nation.
Sharonda Calderone is familiar with the pain.
"[First responders] are there for everyone else and a lot of the time they're not there for themselves," Calderone said.
Her husband, Homero died by suicide.
He was an 18-year veteran with the Dallas County Sheriff's Department.
She said her husband battled depression.
She now gets counseling at One Tribe and urges law enforcement families to seek help.
"If I would've just found this for him… I feel that he would still be here," she said.
The foundation's counseling sessions to first responders increased 30% last year. They plan on expanding across the southwest in 2022.
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