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‘Ask for help’: Father of Mich. EMT raises awareness of suicide

Audrey Hallatschek’s father and mother had no idea she needed help



Suicide is always preventable. If you are having thoughts of suicide or feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline immediately at 988. Counselors are also available to chat at Remember: You deserve to be supported, and it is never too late to seek help. Speak with someone today.

By Bill Carey

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The father of a Michigan EMT is urging others to seek help if they struggle with mental health issues after the suicide of his daughter.

Dennis Cooper said Audrey Hallatschek worked for Life EMS and was the mother of two young boys. EMS was his daughter’s passion, WOOD reported.

“The reason she wanted to be an EMT is there was an accident out front of the restaurant she was working at,” Cooper said. “The person needed CPR. She saved this gentleman’s life.”

Audrey died by suicide on June 16. Her father said neither he nor her mother had any idea she needed help.

“I am sure there was somebody out there that she had portrayed something to,” Cooper said. “If you have a friend that is portraying that to you, meaning they are saying something different than they’ve ever said, get them some help.”

Christy Buck, the executive director of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan, said stress has a significant impact on the mental health of first responders.

“One thing that puts them at risk is that they are around a lot of stressful situations,” Buck said. “Stress can bring about anxiety, can bring about depression, which those two mental health disorders are key to recognizing signs and symptoms to prevent suicide.”

Buck said first responders should take advantage of mental health services as well as therapy and family support and that communities should educate people on the signs of someone struggling with mental health.

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