‘Jon’s death by suicide proves we must deal with this truth’


On Monday, Nashua police introduced 20-year member of the division had handed away whereas visiting household on the West Coast.

Three days later, Nashua Police Chief Michael Carignan revealed that Capt. Jonathan Lehto had taken his personal life. He expressed hope that transparency about his officer’s loss of life would assist increase consciousness in regards to the “epidemic” of suicide within the legislation enforcement and first responder neighborhood.

“Suicide is a national issue which does not exclude the first responder community,” Carignan stated in an announcement on Thursday, which has been extensively shared on social media. “Only recently has it become more openly acknowledged and discussed. Jon’s death by suicide proves we must deal with this truth. Moving forward, we do not want anyone else to feel as though they are locked into this decision.”

Carignan and Lehto’s household are being praised for his or her braveness in being clear in regards to the captain’s loss of life so as assist others and lift consciousness.

Considering of Captain Lehto, his household, and the whole @NashuaPolice Dept. It is Suicide Prevention Week in New Hampshire, and we are able to all assist forestall suicide by reaching out to people who find themselves struggling. If you happen to, or somebody you already know, is in want of assist, name 1-800-273-TALK. https://t.co/ytRl5hEZ7f

— Chris Sununu (@GovChrisSununu) September 12, 2019

Thanks to Captain Lehto’s household and to the Nashua Police Division in your bravery in sharing this,” New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan wrote. “You are right — it is so important for us to openly acknowledge that suicide affects every community.”

Thanks to Captain Lehto’s household and to the @NashuaPolice Division in your bravery in sharing this.

You’re proper – it’s so essential for us to overtly acknowledge that suicide impacts each neighborhood.

I’m deeply sorry in your loss. https://t.co/ENkOQnm0iu

— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) September 12, 2019

“We need to do all we can to raise awareness, eliminate the stigma about discussing mental health, and deliver help to officers,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen stated. 

My ideas are with the household, buddies, Nashua Police Division & all these impacted by the tragic loss of life of Captain Lehto. Captain Lehto served our neighborhood for twenty years and we’re endlessly grateful for his service. https://t.co/abQ18gwQWr

— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (@SenatorShaheen) September 12, 2019

Regulation enforcement officers expertise monumental stress and are uncovered to super trauma whereas defending the general public and it’s important that we discover methods to assist our officers on and off the job.

— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (@SenatorShaheen) September 12, 2019

Captain Lehto was a hero and he’ll all the time be remembered by the various Granite Staters he impacted throughout his 20 years of service, the courageous women and men he served beside, and his loving household. I be part of our New Hampshire neighborhood in mourning the lack of considered one of Nashua’s best.

— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (@SenatorShaheen) September 12, 2019

Not less than 159 legislation enforcement officers died by suicide in 2018, outnumbering the variety of line of obligation deaths for the third straight 12 months. In line with Blue H.E.L.P, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit devoted to lowering psychological well being stigma within the legislation enforcement neighborhood, 143 officers have died by suicide up to now in 2019. 

The Nashua police chief wrote that the division was “shocked” and “stunned” to be taught the captain, who joined the division in 1999, had taken his personal life on Monday whereas visiting household in Seattle, Washington. 

Lehto, who grew up in Nashua and attended Boston College for his undergraduate and legislation levels, all the time knew he wished to be a police workplace, in response to the chief. After spending a number of years with the division’s patrol division, he was transferred to the detective bureau, later ending up with the division’s authorized bureau for a time.

Thought-about a colleague by judges, attorneys, and public defenders alike, Carignan wrote that Lehto’s management, data, and demeanor set him aside. He was not too long ago promoted to the rank of captain and positioned on the helm of the division’s detective bureau. 

“Jon’s personnel file is filled with numerous letters received from members of the community as well as local organizations who took the time to express their gratitude for Jon’s professionalism, his compassion, and his work ethic,” the chief wrote. 

Lehto left behind an “unblemished” report, he stated. 

The chief informed the Boston Herald that nobody picked up on any indicators that the 47-year-old was struggling. 

“Jon ended his life early and we don’t know why,” Carignan wrote on Fb. “We are all left with questions which may never be answered.”

The chief informed WMUR he hopes the openness about his colleague’s loss of life will save lives and encourage folks to ask for assist. Nobody must be stigmatized for reaching out for assist, he stated, declaring that first responders typically deal stoically with what they witness on the job. 

“There’s been that mentality of, ‘Don’t talk about it. Don’t talk about it. You’re fine. Suck it up,’” Carignan informed the station.

The division has established a peer assist group to assist officers grieving their colleague’s loss of life and is “committed” to elevating consciousness about suicide prevention, the chief stated. 

“The Nashua Police Department and Jon’s family acknowledge that suicide amongst law enforcement and other first responders is an epidemic,” Carignan stated. “Jon’s suicide forced us to face the fact that we are not immune to this reality. We are committed to being vocal in an effort to bring attention to and make others aware of this crisis. Jon spent his career helping people. We are hopeful that by not remaining silent about Jon’s death by suicide, we can honor who he truly was and encourage others to reach out for help.”

If you happen to or somebody you already know wants assist, name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-TALK (8255)


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