From Survivor to Thriver

Behind the Badge: A Story of Hope with Ashley Ferris

December 19, 2023 Erik DaRosa & Marc Fernandes
From Survivor to Thriver
Behind the Badge: A Story of Hope with Ashley Ferris
Show Notes

While for many the holidays are a time filled with joy and family, for some, it can be the darkest, hardest, or loneliest time of the year. 

In this special episode of From Survivor to Thriver, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Ashley Ferris who is a beacon in the dark to anyone struggling with their mental health, especially this time of year.

In 2021, Ashley reached her lowest point and was planning to take her own life after her shift as a police officer. During that shift, Ashley experienced a life-changing incident. 

Ashley nearly died that day, but thanks to the quick action of her fellow officers and the kindness and compassion she experienced following it, she found a new purpose in her life and a will to live. She is now passionate about helping others understand that no matter how dark it is, something amazing could be around the corner. You always have something to live for and you are worthy of any help you might need. 

Ashley Ferris was a law enforcement officer with the Lakewood Police Department in Lakewood, Colorado from January of 2018 to June of 2023. Prior to that, Ashley was an All-Source Intelligence Analyst with the United States Army and a project manager for a Denver area developer. 

During her tenure as an officer, Ashley was appointed to several leadership, mentoring, and instructing positions. Some of those positions included Field Training Officer, Crisis Intervention Coach, Public Information Officer, CPR and Tactical Medical Care Instructor, amongst others.  

In addition to her role at UT as a Training Specialist and her current graduate program studies, Ashley travels around the country to share her experience and lessons learned following her critical incident. Ashley lives and loves to serve the community, her organization, and her friends and peers.   

In today’s episode, we cover: 

  • The mental health crisis Ashley was in and the incident at work that changed everything
  • How you can always get help, no matter how bleak your options seem
  • How Ashley found a purpose to live for
  • Why the holidays are so challenging for so many people
  • Ashley’s passion for crisis intervention
  • The signs that someone might be struggling with suicidal ideations
  • The unique mental health challenges that first responders face
  • Why cops continue to put everyone else first even when they need help 
  • The life-saving power of being vulnerable
  • Why first responders have to feel safe to get help in order for anything to change

We hope you enjoyed our conversation with Ashley! If you want to learn more, make sure to visit the A Fighting Chance website! 

Thanks again for tuning in. We are so grateful to each and every one of you. Please remember to leave a rating and review of our show. It helps us grow and reach those who need it. Also, make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode! 


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“I served a purpose that day I got shot, and now I know that my survival is a guide to someone else. My struggle can help someone else.“ -Ashley 

“Don’t wait for permission. Get right in there and help someone if you think it’s needed.” -Marc

“When it comes to having conversations around mental health,  what often holds so many people back is the fear of being vuln