Officials hoping to lower suicide rate in Tennessee during September

 

NASHVILLE-The rate of suicide in Tennessee is historically high, and officials are hoping to better educate people on warning signs and ways to prevent suicide during September.

 

This month has been designated Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in Clay County and Tennessee. Events are scheduled across the state in an attempt to raise awareness to the growing problem.

 

Suicide is a major public health problem on the national and state levels. Tennessee had the 14th highest suicide rate in the country in 2006 (14.5 per 100,000 people). That rate was the third highest among states east of the Mississippi.

 

PHOTO ABOVE RIGHT:

SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH-County Mayor Dale Reagan last Thursday signed a proclamation designating September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in Clay County. Also at the proclamation signing were (standing, l-r) Mike Brown, Shirley Jennings and Jodi Bartlett of the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network. (Staff photo by Kevin Donaldson)

 

Suicide is the ninth-leading overall cause of death in Tennessee, but is the second-leading cause of death in adults ages 25-34 and the third-leading cause among youth from ages 15-24.

Research shows strong links between suicide, substance abuse and mental  illness, particularly depression. 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a mental illness or substance abuse disorder, statistics show. 

 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) offers 24-hour access to trained counselors at area crisis centers. This number has the potential to save lives, officials say.

For more information about suicide, to the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network’s website: www.tspn.org. You can also contact the network at (615) 297-1077 or by e-mail at [email protected]