Suicide Prevention

Suicide is a major public health concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017:

  • Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United states in 2017, claiming the lives of 47,000 people.
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10-34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35-54.
  • There were more than twice as many suicides (47,173) in the United States as there were homicides (19,510).
  • The suicide rate among males remained nearly four times higher than among females.

September is National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month. We want to use this time to emphasize and reinforce our commitment to all of you, our LAFD Firefighters and family members. We are here for you, just as you are here for the citizens of the City of Los Angeles.

UFLAC and the Los Angeles City Fire Department are committed to your health and wellbeing. To this end, we are building a robust Behavioral Health Program. UFLAC now has two licensed Mental Health Professionals, one certified Addictions/Alcoholism Specialist and a Marriage and Family Therapy Intern. Additionally, the LAFD has two licensed Mental Health Professionals staffing the Fire Department’s Behavioral Health Program. As UFLAC/LAFD members, you and your families have access to all our services, 24/7, at no cost.

Here is how you can contact us:

Director of Behavioral Health Services

Hugo Catalan Jr., AMFT, #133892, CATC IV
1 (213) 544-5890

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Dr. Melissa Ryan O’Keefe, PsyD, LMFT #130927
1 (213) 544-6100

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Vera Rodriguez, LMFT, #134497
1 (213) 238-3609

Chemical and Behavioral Addictions Manager

Tice Merriweather, CATC I #2213963
1 (213) 317-1086

Administrative Assistant

Tiffany Zamora
1 (213) 414-0071

UFLAC Behavioral Health Center
14123 Nordhoff St. Arleta, CA 91331
Office:  747-200-6266

Additionally, UFLAC/LAFD has a robust Peer Support Program. Currently, we have approximately 115 well-trained Peers on our Team. CLICK HERE for the complete roster with contact information for all of our Team members. Please remember that it is our commitment that no LAFD Firefighter or family member should be alone at a moment of need.


Finally, UFLAC/LAFD is excited to announce that UFLAC’s Center for Health and Wellness is now open and operational! Give us a call and let us know when you would like to come by for a visit. You can reach the Center’s mainline at: 747-200-6266.


Your Behavioral Health and Peer Support Teams