The main goal of the Code Green Campaign is to help reduce the high rates of mental health issues, suicides, and substance abuse problems experienced by first responders through raising awareness. The organisation’s other goal is to use various programs to educate first responders on how they can recognise issues in their colleagues and themselves and how they can get the help and care they need.
The Code Green Campaign supports first responders as they face mental health challenges. These include firefighters, paramedics, police officers, EMTs, corrections officers, search and rescue personnel, and air medical responders.
The projects funded by the Code Green Campaign generally have the following goals:
- Reducing the stigma attached to talking about mental health problems
- Educating people about the symptoms and signs of mental health issues
- Increasing access to quality mental health resources
- Reducing operational and organisational stressors
- Reducing financial barriers to receiving care
- Preventing suicide.
The organisation operates and collaborates with organisations across the US, including:
- Crisis Text Line
- Safe Call Now
- Fire/EMS Helpline, also known as Share the Load
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Frontline Helpline
- Copline (police only)
- Kristin Brooks Hopeline
- Veterans Crisis Line (veterans only)
The Code Green Campaign also works together with several international organisations that share the same objectives. These include:
- Blue Light Programme in the United Kingdom
- Behind the Seen and Sirens of Silence in Australia
- I737, Samaritans and Lifeline Aotearoa in New Zealand
- The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP), Tema Foundation and OSILink in Canada.
The projects undertaken by the Code Green Campaign include:
- The storytelling project giving first responders an anonymous outlet
- Education and public speaking
- Consulting to first responder agencies and individuals
- Treatment assistance through financial help with mental health care and associated costs
- Ways for first responders to formulate a better understanding of how suicide can be fought more effectively
- A comprehensive resources database
The Code Green Campaign has distributed more than 150,000 mental health resource cards, collected hundreds of stories to raise awareness, and has continued to remind first responders that nobody is suffering alone. Through this, tens of thousands of first responders have been educated about mental health and what resources are available.
The Foundation's History
In March 2014, one of the co-founders of the Code Green Campaign experienced the death of a colleague by suicide. She soon came to realise how many first responders had lost colleagues and friends to the same. After talking about it with others, they all agreed that one way in which first responders deal with the trauma they experience is by telling stories. This prompted them to launch a storytelling project which eventually evolved into the Code Green Campaign.