Reducing First Responders Suicides in Brevard County / Nation is Our Mission, SURVIVE FIRST

There has been an increasing buzz about the mental health crisis in the first responder community.  Each year, since data has been collected, more first responders have died by their own hand than line of duty deaths.  In 2013 and 2014, Doug Monda almost became one of many first responders around the nation lost to suicide.  After several years of hard work and personal growth, Doug and his wife Karen searched for a way to give back by raising awareness of the impact a career as a first responder can have on one’s own mental health.  Survive First was born.

Founded in 2018, Survive First, a 501(c)3, is based right here in Brevard County, with a mission to reduce first responder suicide through quality education, peer support, and mental health and wellness resources, while fostering a greater sense of community and awareness amongst first responders and their supporters. Survive First strives to eliminate the stigma often associated with seeking mental health treatment, and in doing so, assists first responders nation-wide.

Through their Treatment Assistance Fund, Survive First helps many first responders access the mental health treatment they may have otherwise pushed aside due to financial hardship.  This year alone, they have awarded over $20,000 in assistance to first responders unable to attain the finances in order to begin treatment.  As the costs associated with treatment can often leave a first responder overwhelmed in their time of crisis,  we, unfortunately, see many first responders push off treatment until it is too late.  Survive First works very hard not to allow this to happen.

Survive First also offers educational seminars for departments and agencies, focusing on mental health and overall wellness in the first responder community, as well as wellness initiatives and activities that focus on whole health for first responders and their families.  One of those activities is the Run for Responders 5k, being held in Cocoa Village on January 8, 2022, at 6:00 pm.  It’s fourth annual running, the 5k is one like no other, celebrating our first responders under the night sky.

As a grassroots organization, run solely by volunteers, Survive First relies on the contributions of their generous supporters to carry out their mission. Whether monetary contributions, volunteering or donating your space or services, it is the public who enables Survive First in supporting our Nation’s first responders and saving lives.  Together we make a difference.  Together we save lives.


For more information, please visit our website at and on Facebook at, where you can learn how to request assistance, as well as learn more information about the exciting events we have coming up.  In addition please check out our sister organization Trauma behind the Badge