After losing his best friend and fellow firefighter to suicide, Jonathan Smith is “Putting a Dent in Mental Health.”
He founded the organization in memory of his friend Robbie Dent, who served as a volunteer firefighter at Glade Hill and Cool Branch until last summer when Dent took his own life.
“Suicide rates among first responders is really high,” Smith said. “First Responders do not acknowledge a need for help when ‘compassion fatigue’ begins to spiral toward mental illness and emotional distress.
“I personally have been affected by suicide more than once in life but to lose a close friend knowing the red flags were there and I didn’t see them until it was too late has really opened my eyes. This has me wanting to help others who can be saved.”