Officer Carlos Yanez posted is encouraging fellow police officers experiencing suicidal thoughts to seek help
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Police Officer Carlos Yanez posted a heartfelt message to other officers about seeking help if they are having thoughts of hopelessness or suicide.
Officer Yanez was badly injured in a shooting that claimed the life of his partner, Officer Ella French.
"It's not always easy and everybody needs support and I'm fortunate enough to have a great support system," Yanez said in a four-minute Facebook video directed at other police officers who maybe experiencing suicidal thoughts.
"I hope that this prevents people from making that decision," Yanez said.
Yanez has been there. He said he wanted to give up after waking up in the Intensive Care Unit following last year's shooting that severely wounded him and killed his partner. At the time, Yanez couldn't walk or talk.
"I told my wife I didn't want to live like this and we cried together," Yanez said, "and the next day I apologized and said I would continue to fight for her and CJ."
Fighting for family is part of Yanez's message for other officers who find themselves in a moment of hopelessness.
"It can be overwhelming, but look at the positive things," Yanez said. "It's so important not to forget about those hugs, all the people you helped."
Many in the police community called his Facebook post courageous and hope having it come a place of vulnerability and sincerity will help other officers.
"It gives officers this possibility that they could make it through, and they might be thinking right now there is no way out," said Robert Swiderski, director of Running for Blue Lives.
Yanez said that even during his darkest days, he'll continue to fight.
While a good support system is key, Yanez said if you're not getting it from family, there are plenty of other resources available to help officers.
If you are experiencing suicidal, substance use or other mental health crises please call or text the new three digit code at 988. You will reach a trained crisis counselor for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also go to 988lifeline.org or dial the current toll free number 800-273-8255 [TALK].