ORLANDO, Fla. — In a passionate plea to prioritize mental health support for first responders, country singer Frank Ray addressed a gathering at Orlando Police Headquarters Wednesday afternoon.
Ray, a former police officer himself, has been touring police stations and firehouses across the nation, spreading awareness about the importance of mental health care within the first responder community.
Reflecting on his personal experiences, Ray acknowledged the toll that harrowing calls can take on the mental well-being of those in high-pressure roles.
“I know firsthand the calls that kept me up at night,” Ray stated, emphasizing the need to address the stigma associated with mental health issues among first responders.
A recent study conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness revealed that a staggering 85% of first responders have experienced symptoms associated with mental health conditions.
To combat this concerning statistic, Ray launched the FRAY Initiative, an organization dedicated to providing resources and support for struggling first responders.
The FRAY Initiative comprises a comprehensive range of services, including a user-friendly website, a peer support network, and a crisis hotline. Ray’s aim is to offer a lifeline to those grappling with mental health challenges, providing them with access to the support they desperately need.
“Police officers, friends of mine, have had suicidal ideations, have struggled with alcohol abuse, trying to cope with these traumas,” Ray shared, underscoring the urgency of the issue.
To learn more about the FRAY Initiative and access its resources, first responders and those interested in supporting the cause can visit the organization’s website at FRAYoc.org.
If you or someone you know is a first responder struggling with mental health challenges, please reach out for assistance. Your well-being matters, and there are people who care and want to help you through difficult times.
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