Cindy Lannon lost her husband to PTSD. He served his community saving lives and protecting others, but suffering in silence, he did not ask for help he needed to save himself. #BreakTheSilentService
A sheriff’s deputy died by suicide. His widow is on a mission to help others with PTSD
February 10, 2019
Cindy Lannon talks about her late husband, Jerry Lannon, 58, a deputy with the Washington County sheriff’s office. “He has just a really strong faith and he loved studying God’s word. He loved history too,” Lannon said. “I felt that the day Jerry died some of his integrity was tarnished. He didn’t want his life to end that way.”
Cindy Lannon holds a picture of her late husband, Jerry Lannon, in May Township on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. Lannon, 58, a deputy with the Washington County sheriff’s office who was diagnosed with depression and PTSD, died by suicide last year. (Jean Pieri / Pioneer Press)
Cindy Lannon instantly knew something was wrong.
Returning home from a medical appointment the Monday after Thanksgiving, Lannon expected to find her husband’s brown loafers on the front mat.
They weren’t there.
“Your head tells you one thing, but another side of your mind says ‘No, no, no,’ ” Cindy Lannon said. “His truck was in the driveway. I looked around the house, and I went up to our bedroom. The bed wasn’t made — he always made the bed when he got up — and he had taken his cellphone and propped it up on his pillow. It was almost like he was leaving a goodbye note.”
She called her brother Craig Pittman, who lives nearby, and he found Jerry Lannon’s body on the trail that runs behind the couple’s house near Big Carnelian Lake in northern Washington County. The veteran Washington County sheriff’s deputy, SWAT team member and firearms instructor had shot himself in the head. He was 58.
Nationally, law-enforcement officers are more likely to die by suicide than to be killed in the line of duty. At least 159 officers in the U.S. took their own lives in 2018, more than the estimated 145 who died while on the job, according to Blue H.E.L.P., a nonprofit organization that tracks officer suicides. Lannon was one of three officers who died by suicide last year in Minnesota; four died by suicide in Wisconsin.
“It’s a startling trend,” said Sgt. Tim Harris of the Washington County sheriff’s office, who is leading a new mental-health initiative for the department. “We’re very hard on ourselves, and we’re not getting help when we need it. We need to figure out how to change the stigma of seeking help.”
Cindy Lannon, 58, is on a mission to help. She is working to raise awareness about officer suicides and mental illness, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
It’s crucial, she said, that officers seek treatment.
read more here
Why do they still remain clueless about PTSD? It means they survived and there is no shame in that. Considering there are over 7 million other Americans with PTSD after surviving most of the stuff these guys save us from, you'd think they would be the first to understand it...but they do not!
#FightPTSD and #TakeBackYourLife