Sheriff's Office

PR #:
Date Issued:
May 07, 2021 - 9:29AM

For Immediate Release

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office releases video campaign discussing suicide, mental health awareness

Sarah Johns
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office: 775-785-6235
Cell: 775-391-0407

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is releasing a series of videos targeted towards parents, teens, and community members throughout the month of May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month. The videos discuss suicide, depression, warning signs, and residual effects on law enforcement from responding to unspeakable calls for service. The first video can be viewed here.

“In starting a discussion on mental health it is my sincere hope that we will all gain some insight on how to broach this very difficult topic with our children, our friends or family members, that we will be able to identify warning signs, and that if someone needs it – they will know how to ask for help,” said Sheriff Darin Balaam.

The video campaign is centered around the story of 14-year-old Brandon Mateo who took his life on February 18, 2020.

Mateo’s mom, Shannon, speaks candidly about the experiences leading up to her son’s suicide, signs of depression, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office’s role in investigating her son’s death, and the aftereffects in the year since.

Deputies and Detectives who responded to the scene discuss how Brandon’s suicide, and the necessary death investigation, touch them still. The videos will also explore why it’s necessary for law enforcement to have ready access to mental health care.

“I also hope community members might gain some insight on the humanity behind the badge,” said Sheriff Balaam. “The men and women of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office make me proud every day – and Brandon’s case is one reason why.”

Every Friday this month a new video will post to the Sheriff’s Office’s social channels.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.


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