2019 Marathon: Sgt. McCarthy for law enforcement suicide prevention

Southborough has always had an impressive showing at the Boston Marathon, and this year is no exception. Between now and Patriots Day, I’m featuring stories of resident runners donning bibs for a cause.

Joining the pack of Southborough runners this year is Sergeant Sean McCarthy of the Southborough Police Department.

Initially running just for the challenge, McCarthy decided to use the opportunity to support a cause – law enforcement suicide prevention.

McCarthy is raising funds for Blue H.E.L.P. (Honor.Educate.Lead.Prevent):

It is the mission of Blue H.E.L.P. to reduce mental health stigma through education, advocate for benefits for those suffering from post-traumatic stress, acknowledge the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers we lost to suicide, assist officers in their search for healing, and to bring awareness to suicide and mental health issues.

He shared:

In years past I have worked the marathon in a law enforcement capacity. This year my wife casually mentioned that I should try running it. So I decided to give it a shot.

While training I came across an email I received from BLUE H.E.L.P. As I started reading through this year’s statistics, I was stunned.

While out for a training run, the officer’s silhouettes that scroll across the organization’s home page kept creeping into my thoughts. After that run I decided to reach out to the organization and see if I could help bring awareness to the cause. After reading the organization’s mission statement and seeing that they were local, I felt as if not reaching out would be a missed opportunity.

His fundraising page explains:

More police officers die of suicide than are killed by gunfire and traffic accidents combined. It’s a problem that cries out for answers and remedies, but people are reluctant to admit it exists. At least 140 men and women in law enforcement die by suicide each year, and they leave their loving families with children behind. 99.9 percent of these families have to go it alone without any emotional or financial support. Each time an officer puts on their uniform, it covers not only their skin, but their life. The public only sees the uniform and what they think it represents. Each uniform covers a different story that has created a unique personality with specific emotional needs. There is no test that can predict which officer’s burden will become too much or when that might happen. The reality for first responders is that they bring their personal baggage into their careers where it intermingles with the baggage created by their professions.

You can read more about Blue H.E.L.P.’s good work and support McCarthy’s campaign here.

[If you’re running the Boston Marathon and would like to have your story featured, drop me a line at mysouthborough@gmail.com]

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