OUR COUNTY

Suicide prevention now a critical need

D. Gary Davis Bradley County Mayor
Posted 9/12/17

Last week, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and I were honored to sign a joint proclamation lending our combined support to the cause of bringing increased awareness during the entire month of September …

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OUR COUNTY

Suicide prevention now a critical need

Posted

Last week, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and I were honored to sign a joint proclamation lending our combined support to the cause of bringing increased awareness during the entire month of September for the continued excellent work of many of our residents during what has been designated as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

Throughout Tennessee, suicide is the 10th-leading cause of all deaths in our state, and is now the second-leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 24, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

As one of the most disruptive and tragic events that a family and a community can experience, more than 950 lives are lost throughout Tennessee each year. There are also up to 25 attempted suicides for each suicide death also reported. Tennessee veterans, active duty personnel and members of the National Guard face a disproportionate risk as compared to the general population in the Volunteer State, with more dying from suicide than combat.

Tennessee is a national leader in the effort to prevent suicide as we are one of the first states to develop a suicide prevention and evaluation plan covering the lifespan of its citizens and residents. Public awareness of this tragic problem is a key to preventing further suffering and loss of life.

The risk for human self-destruction can be reduced through awareness, education and treatment. This approach is also vital in reaching the high-risk group of people who are the survivors of those who have died by suicide or those who have attempted suicide.

The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network is a grassroots collaboration of Tennesseans and organizations diligently working to eliminate the stigma of suicide, educate the community about its warning signs and ultimately reduce its rate throughout our state.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed a Suicide Prevention Network Advisory Council to coordinate the implementation of the Tennessee Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Many across our community, region, state and nation have been touched by this tragic event and the devastating loss of life.

In our busy lives that we all are a part of today, I just wanted to say “thank you” to those who make it a mission throughout their day to actually stop and spend some time with those who they come in contact with each day.

It has been said that kindness costs nothing, but is truly priceless to those who receive it. We do not know what others are going through each day, but a kind word, a sincere gesture of help and a true question asking “How are you today?” may just be the answer to someone’s prayer.

Please join with me, Mayor Rowland, and each professional and faith-based center involved in this valiant effort as we help bring awareness and an improved dialogue as how to best help those in need.

In doing so we may become the “hands and feet” of the many prayers said by those who have dealt with this tragic event.

This will prove once again why Bradley County is Tennessee at its best!

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