Valley mother launches nonprofit aimed to support first responders, mental health

Valley mother launches nonprofit aimed to help first responders mental health
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 7:56 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - On November 17, 2020, 41-year-old Bradley Pugh was shot 16 times following a three-hour standoff with law enforcement.

“I knew that Brad was short for this world at times, that he might not live the longest life of anyone but the way my life shifted in a moment… I never anticipated that,” Brad’s mother, Adina Peyton said.

On that November night, Pugh stole his mother’s unloaded gun and climbed to the roof of Ted’s Bar-B-Q.

“Something changed in me that night, and I thought about the officers that had to shoot Brad. I thought about their mental health, what their brains must have to go through in seeing something that traumatic,” Peyton said.

Peyton is now taking that tragedy and turning it into a nonprofit called GRAMI, Getting Real About Mental Illness.

“We are destigmatizing mental illness by providing funding for first responders to be able to go and get private mental health appointments,” Peyton said.

Don Webster, the spokesperson for HEMSI, says this type of help is something first responders have been wanting.

“There is little help out there, but there is not a big lot of help out there, and I hope this will provide more in-depth counseling and opportunities to debrief or defuse whatever the case may be,’ Webster said.

The Brad Pugh Memorial First Responders program will be established to help fund this initiative.

“We are doing nothing but helping our society. We are helping the people that are taking care of us. That is powerful,” Peyton said.

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