Utah Firefighter Hopes To Spread Awareness About Mental Health In First Responders

Jun 21, 2021, 6:30 PM | Updated: Jun 22, 2021, 11:51 am

BOUNTIFUL, Utah — The Centers for Disease Control calls suicide a significant health problem, and first responders are at a higher risk.

One Utah firefighter took his experience as a first responder to the airwaves in an effort to raise awareness about the problem.

You wouldn’t know it when he’s on a scene with South Davis Metro Fire, but Mike Shafer is an aspiring rapper, and he recently released the first track on his newest album — a song about suicide.

It’s a message that’s personal for Mike.

“It’s honestly something that hits home to me,” he said.

Mike has been on the front lines for nearly a decade, there’s no doubt the South Davis firefighter has positively impacted hundreds of lives. Now he hopes to broaden that reach, through song about a tough topic — suicide.

“For me, spreading the awareness of, ‘You’re not alone. You’re not the only one that’s struggling, and we’re here for you,” said Mike.

“He came to me with this song and I was just blown away,” said Mike’s wife, Aubrey Shafer, who is a photojournalist at KSL TV.

“Within the song, there’s a story,” she said.

A story that’s all too familiar for first responders.

“We all have, we all have those scenes that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. We’ll have those memories, and some of them, some of the scenes from the video were from my own personal struggle of being bothered me, and will probably never leave me.”

Mike and Aubrey started putting the music to video.

“We pulled these things from things my husband has been on, scenes that have really impacted him,” said Aubrey.

The journey has been rewarding.

Mike has looked to musicians like Eminem and Outkast for inspiration, and now hopes others will look to him for something else — hope.

“It’s kind of been a little mind-blowing for me,” said Mike. “I’ve had people reach out to me and just tell me, ‘That’s how I feel, and I appreciate you doing it. It’s giving me confidence to reach out.'”

“If this video can help just one or two people make a phone call or reach out to a friend, then it’s all worth it,” said Aubrey.

The video can be found on Youtube.

The Shafers said a portion of the money made from the song will go to suicide prevention.

If you like what you heard and want more, Mike’s next single from the album, “The Hunter’s Son,” drops on Wednesday.


If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call the Utah State Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Additional Crisis Hotlines:

National Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741

Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386

Online resources:

In an emergency: 

  • Call 911
  • Go to the emergency room
KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Suicide Prevention

Karah Brackin

Students across Utah come together to learn the importance of mental health care

Mental health, wellness and suicide prevention — they're all big topics of conversation, and more and more, those conversations include our kids. That's where Hope Squad is coming in to help.
5 days ago
Since the summer launch of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, the new three-digit number has seen...
Jacqueline Howard

New 988 mental health crisis line sees ‘eye-opening’ rise in calls, texts, chats in first 6 months, data shows

Since the summer launch of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, the new three-digit number has seen a significant rise in call volume
19 days ago
Karah Brackin

Hope Squad works to provide mental health advocacy, suicide prevention in Utah schools

Thanks to Hope Squad, a Utah-based program, students in elementary through high school are developing tools needed to care for themselves mentally and share that hope with others.
20 days ago
The FBI seal...

FBI: Steep climb in teens targeted by online ‘sextortion’

The FBI sounded the alarm Monday about an explosive increase in teenage boys being targeted online and extorted for money after being tricked into sending sexually explicit pictures.
2 months ago
Tamara Vaifanua

SafeUT exchanges more than 1 million messages, conducts 349 life-saving interventions

Those who are responsible for the SafeUT app are celebrating what they call a “milestone. Over a 12-month period, over one million messages were exchanged between SafeUT counselors and people needing help.
2 months ago
Ayanna Likens

Coming together on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

While the loss of a loved one is always difficult, losing someone to suicide can add another level of pain to your grief. Saturday is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day — a chance for families to come together for healing and support.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Utah Firefighter Hopes To Spread Awareness About Mental Health In First Responders