Wearing patriotic apparel lets you show off your American pride and national spirit. You let those around you know your values, beliefs, and character when you wear an item of clothing with a patriotic message.
Sporting a patriotic fashion statement can also be a way to support and honor those who give their lives in the service of their community or country. Wearing a memorial t-shirt or a patriotic hoodie that calls attention to mental health issues can also help to aid those in need.
Freedom Fatigues is proud to be an American company owned and operated by a Veteran and law enforcement officer. We’re also proud to support our American first responders and law enforcement community and are dedicated to raising awareness of cumulative PTSD and hero suicide.
We are honored to support and partner with First H.E.L.P., an organization that aids first responders who suffer from PTSD and families affected by the death of a first responder by suicide.
What is First H.E.L.P.?
First H.E.L.P. is an organization dedicated to reducing the stigma attached to mental health in the first responder communities. This organization researches how trauma and stress affect first responders and uses that knowledge to reach out to those in need.
While many of those who serve in first responder roles are resilient and tough enough to weather difficult times, determination often isn’t sufficient. First H.EL.P. works hard to promote well-being and recovery through the support and training programs of their respective agencies.
Fighting the Stigma
The #IWillTalk #IWillListen campaign began as a call to police officers nationwide to speak to others when they need help and listen to peers seeking assistance. The stigma attached to reaching out for help with mental health often prevents those who need aid from seeking assistance.
The #StopTheStigma campaign was developed to create a community where it’s okay to talk about mental health and wellness. First responders, especially law enforcement officers, are encouraged to promote an atmosphere where no dishonor or fear is attached to seeking out assistance during the darkest times on the job.
Committing to talk and listen helps all first responders smash the stigma attached to mental health needs—the proceeds of every purchase of a First H.E.L.P. The Stigma Stops Here t-shirt from Freedom Fatigues directly supports First H.E.L.P. in their efforts to combat first responder suicide and raise awareness of PTSD.
This 100% American-made shirt is available in two different styles. A Blue H.E.L.P. version is printed on a lightweight poly/cotton blend tee, and the First H.E.L.P. style is printed on an ultra-soft tri-blend t-shirt.
In 2022, First H.E.L.P. rolled out their #SoWhat campaign. This campaign states that “It’s ok not to be ok.” It also promotes the idea that we all need help from time to time, and no one can be a passive observer when it comes to their salvation or wellness.
The #SoWhat campaign originated from a quote by Marcus Aurelius, “Don’t be ashamed needing help. You have a duty to fulfill. So what if you can’t climb up without help.” This premise highlights the importance of self-awareness and having the courage to say, “I need help, so what am I going to do about it?”
Freedom Fatigues is proud to stand with the warriors who serve as first responders and offer the So What-First H.E.L.P. t-shirt, featuring an inspirational graphic with the powerful quote by Marcus Aurelius on the back. This boyfriend-fit ring-spun cotton t-shirt comes in a neutral, asphalt shade to complement most casual wear.
The Branches of First H.E.L.P.
The duties of a first responder can be overwhelming. Many organizations, people, and agencies have worked tirelessly to improve job safety with better equipment, new policies, and upgraded tactics. However, first responder mental health is still inadequate in terms of resources and awareness.
The Police Week First H.E.L.P. t-shirt memorializes the 156 law enforcement officers who died by suicide in 2021. The vertical flag graphic features a thin blue line comprised of those officers’ names and End of Watch dates.
First H.E.L.P. was formed initially to collect data and show respect to those who had served their community honorably but had not been given the respect they deserve because they committed suicide. Originally, the idea was to gather representatives from each first responder discipline, but the project scope was too large for people who also had full-time jobs.
The decision was made to focus efforts solely on the law enforcement community, and Blue H.E.L.P. was created. The agency works tirelessly to raise awareness of PTSD, suicide, and mental health issues. They also advocate for the families left behind by those who commit suicide.
Blue H.E.L.P.’s efforts to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of these fallen heroes and their educational programs began to gain momentum. Soon, more professionals from each first responder discipline asked the founders of Blue H.E.L.P. to do the same for their fields.
Even though the law enforcement community is nearly one million strong, those brave brothers and sisters can still only form a Thin Blue Line to keep the chaos at bay. The You Are Not Alone-First H.E.L.P. t-shirt shows your support for LEOs and lets them know that no matter what, they are never alone.
Since then, the organization has expanded its impact to honor the service of all first responders who die by suicide with:
- Blue H.E.L.P. Law Enforcement Officers: Honoring officers and their families to maintain the credibility of the Thin Blue Line.
- Red H.E.L.P. Firefighters: Acknowledging the sacrifice of those firefighters who died by suicide and supporting the families left behind.
- White H.E.L.P. EMTs and Paramedics: Honoring those lost to suicide, reducing mental health stigma, and advocating for benefits for those suffering from PTSD
- Gold H.E.L.P. 911 Telecommunicators: Bringing awareness to suicide and other mental health issues and acknowledging those first responders lost to suicide.
Together, these organizations help raise awareness of PTSD and mental health in the first responder communities. They also help support the families left behind after the suicide of a loved one. Efforts have been made to raise awareness of these issues through education and advocating for benefits for families who have lost a loved one.
Karen Soloman, the author of Hearts Beneath the Badge and creator of www.1sthelp.net and said, “Suicide should be pursued as relentlessly as any other cop killer; together, publicly and, with unabating courage.” Freedom Fatigues is happy to join this pursuit and lend our support to First H.E.L.P.
To accomplish that task, preparedness is the key to survival. Mental health, physical health, adaptability, and tactical know-how are what it takes to get that job done. Featuring the things you must Equip Yourself with to survive, this t-shirt reminds us and those around us exactly what it takes to live a balanced and happy life.
The Thin Blue Line, distressed flag graphic, and flag emblem on the right sleeve are printed on a lightweight, ultra-soft, ring-spun cotton shirt in heather black. The Equip Yourself tee comes in a unisex boyfriend fit, with roomier sleeves and more length at the hem.
First H.E.L.P. women’s patriotic t-shirts, available at Freedom Fatigues, are all 100% American-made. Every step of production, from making the fabric to printing the graphics, is completed right here in the United States.
We take pride in partnering exclusively with other American-owned companies and supporting fine organizations like First H.E.L.P. by donating proceeds from the purchase of a First H.E.L.P. shirt directly to the organization.
PTSD and hero suicide in the first responder disciplines are problems that won’t just go away. By partnering with agencies like First H.E.L.P., Freedom Fatigues hopes to aid in the fight against hero suicide, support the families of first responders, and make a difference in the lives of our brave service men and women in the first responder disciplines.
Freedom Fatigues and First H.E.L.P.
Freedom Fatigues is dedicated to providing the finest selection of patriotic American apparel and accessories possible, made start-to-finish right here in the U.S.A. Our family-run business was created to give back and stay connected to the veteran and law enforcement communities.
We want you to enjoy our brand as much as we love creating it. We read every email, ship every package, and answer every call to provide a level of customer service that goes above and beyond your expectations.
Our Freedom Fatigues family wants to thank all our patriotic customers for allowing us the privilege of supporting non-profits through the purchase of Freedom Fatigues apparel.