Local Woman’s Mission to Help First Responders
Carol Castle has worked with the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame, but now she’s on a mission to help first responders with mental health. She lost her son to suicide and is now promoting handing out coins with a national suicide hotline for first responders. The coins are sold by the nonprofit Safe Call Now.
Wrestling for Life
Wrestling for Life is a program within the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame created by it’s founder Carol Castle. She’s expanding the program to bring public awareness to the double and triple suicide rates among first responders.
“I’m just a mother who lost her son and I don’t want anyone to go through that,” Castle said off camera.
Castle lost her son, Maury, a Maple Grove Firefighter, two years ago to suicide. In memory of his passing, Castle worked with Maury’s old partner, to design a coin that would benefit all first responders, police officers, firefighters, EMS, corrections officers and their families through Safe Call Now. She also has created a Wrestling Life Coin that provides services for Wrestlers, boxers and MMA fighters and their families; free and anonymous.
“We want a coin in every pocket and every gym bag,” Castle said.
Castle vetted 12-14 different crisis lines, before she found one that was both nationwide and accessible at a moments notice. Not to mention one that was willing to take on a new client base of wrestlers, MMA fighters and boxers.
“I found Safe Call Now,” Castle said. “I said to them, if I design a coin for wrestling would you take on the responsibility and be able to provide services and resources for the fighters, the wrestlers, the boxers? And they welcomed them with open arms.”
A law enforcement officer named Sean Riley founded a suicide prevention hotline called Safe Call Now. This hotline is unique because fellow first responders answer the phones and can talk knowingly about the unique stressors of the job.
“What I liked about them is they cared,” Castle said.
The organization even went as far as to send a representative to Cauliflower Alley, a wrestling convention of the who’s who in the biz, held in Las Vegas. They wanted to understand wrestlers needs in order to better provide service for their new client base.
Castle was also at the convention to help launch the program nationwide. She donated more than 500 coins to the welcome packets that every guest received at the start of the weekend.
“In the first hour we had two referrals [that called the hotline due to the coins],” Castle said. “That just goes to show that there is such a need and our work is just getting started.”
Each life coin has the Safe Call Now number front and center. The coin has a reference to the bible verse Psalm 34:18-19: ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
“We’re all wrestling for life, just some more than others,” Castle concluded.
Coins can be purchased at the minnesotawrestlinghalloffame.com and are available for $18 total with postage. Proceeds from the coins will be donated to Safe Call Now.
For more information contact Castle at Carolcastle32@gmail.com or 612-801-6336.