By Hartsville Vidette Staff Reporter


County Mayor Jake West and Brenda Harper, formerly of Cumberland Mental Health, signed a proclamation recently recalling September Suicide Prevention Month in Trousdale County.

In support of this act, the Trousdale County Health Council will be hosting Trousdale Remembers Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. in front of the county courthouse.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, there were 938 recorded suicide deaths in our state in 2012, at a rate of 14.7 per 100,000 people. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among youth and young adults ages 15-24 in Tennessee and throughout the entire nation.

More people die by suicide each year than from homicide, AIDS, or drunk driving. Suicide is the leading cause of violent deaths in our state, nationally and worldwide, far above homicide and death due to natural disasters.

Through signing the proclamation, it will, hopefully, raise awareness of this terrifying problem and become the key to preventing further suffering and loss of life. Raising awareness has helped reduce the risk for human self-destruction, and urged education and treatment.

Suicide prevention has been declared a national priority by the President and Congress; and Tennessee declares suicide prevention as a state priority and the legislature, in partnership with The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN), implements the Tennessee Strategy for Suicide Prevention based on the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.

In almost all cases, suicide can be traced to unrecognized, untreated, or poorly treated mental illness. It can happen to people of either sex, any race or ethnicity, and any economic status. The average suicide death leaves behind six survivors – family and friends of the deceased – all of whom are at increased risk for a suicide attempt themselves. As if the emotional and psychological toll were not enough, suicide and suicide attempts cost the state of Tennessee $1 billion a year in medical treatment, lost wages, and lost productivity.

TSPN and its allies in the public health, mental health, and social service fields are joining forces to recognize the month of September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. During this annual observance, TSPN and its allies arrange several educational and memorial events across Tennessee. These projects help teach the general public about the problem of suicide and how it can be prevented.They also give family and friends an opportunity to remember those lost to suicide; to encourage survivors of suicide, survivors of suicide attempts, and people who have triumphed over mental illness; and to recognize individuals who have made notable contributions to suicide prevention efforts in the state.

As part of this observance, mayors and county executives across Tennessee will receive proclamations declaring September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which they will sign in support of our state’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month efforts. These proclamations will be presented at the annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Day event, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Trevecca Community Church, located at 335 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville.

The TSPN is a grassroots collaboration of Tennesseans and organizations working to eliminate the stigma of suicide, educate the community about the warning signs of suicide, and ultimately reduce the rate of suicide in the state.

Managing Editor Marie Corhern can be reached at 615-374-3556 or email [email protected].