What is The GY6 Initiative?
The GY6 Initiative is a national campaign to push back the alarming rate of suicides among first responders. It funnels vital wellness resources to first responders via regional wellness conferences, a world-class documentary, and an app/website repository of interactive, multimedia wellness materials.
GY6 is code for “I’ve got your 6,” which among military and first responders means “I have your back.”
The GY6 Initiative establishes a comprehensive online portal for the first responder community, complete with supportive resources, designed to help them do their jobs, care for their families, and most importantly care for themselves … better.
The GY6 Initiative will reduce suicides, strengthen families, and improve mental health among first responders.
The Staggering Statistics
Three times more police officers die annually from suicide than from criminal gunfire.
Firefighters and EMS are 13 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
First Responders are called to do the impossible every day … at great risk to their lives, and sometimes in service to those who would seek to destroy them.
They operate in a culture of rugged individualism in which there is no room for perceived weakness.
Many/most refuse to utilize available resources, often resulting in PTSD, substance abuse, and suicide.
The GY6 Initiative will create a vital wellness resource for the first responder community that will:
- reach a skeptical audience
- break through traditional barriers
- guide first responders to available resources, even those not directly affiliated with The GY6 Initiative.
Wellness resources include the following components:
- Short video clips
- Training sessions
- Documentary film
- Suicide hotlines
- Local employee assistance programs
An apparatus is needed that provides helpful, healing content and that reaches directly into the first responder community. The GY6 Initiative accomplishes this by combining the three following components:
Conferences, seminars, and live events will launch the initiative and provide material for the app and documentary.
A world-class documentary focusing on the challenges of first responders, featuring interviews and actual footage of first responders in action.
An app and online media resource center that offers a diverse collection designed to engage and impact the community, ranging in topics from the serious side to humorous side, from informational to inspirational and motivational.
These three components are individually distinct and essential, yet interconnected in The GY6 Initiative.
Use “Insiders” to break down barriers.
One of the greatest obstacles in addressing the mental health crisis among first responders is breaking through their hesitance to seek help for the issues that plague them. The GY6 Initiative breaks down that barrier from the inside by utilizing the community of first responders sharing their stories.
“I really struggled following a series of traumatic calls. I went to our chaplain, and that helped a lot, but he also encouraged me to follow up with one of our approved counselors. Together they helped me process those horrors and helped me survive. I strongly encourage every first responder to take full advantage of the wellness resources available to them!” – 911 Dispatcher