Landen-Washut provision secures funding for first responder suicide prevention in Wyoming

Representative Art Washut, Natrona County (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (1-800-273-8255)

CASPER, Wyoming — Rep. Art Washut (Natrona County) and Sen. Bill Landen (Natrona) worked together to ensure funding was added to Wyoming’s new two-year budget for suicide prevention for first responders.

The Landen-Washut provision adds $25,000 to the budget to raise awareness and develop strategies to help address suicides in the first responder community, according to a Tuesday news release.

“The nature of the work of our first responders is incredibly stressful,” Landen said in the statement. “Not only does national data show a disturbing pattern of suicide deaths for first responders, but we are experiencing it firsthand in our communities.”

“We need to take steps to bring resources to the table. This amendment starts the process of bringing this issue to light.

Washut added, “Our emergency medical service providers, firefighters, law enforcement and other first responders are critical to Wyoming communities. These people are the first to show up when someone is really in trouble. This provision appears to Wyoming first responders in a way that sparks conversation around this troubling trend and develops strategies to help these crucial members of the community.

The budget bill has passed both houses of the legislature and awaits consideration by Governor Mark Gordon.