Kitty and Jack Stewart are a husband and wife team who spend their time advocating for others who have a mental illness.
With one child losing their life to substance abuse, and a daughter with bipolar disorder, the couple decided to dedicate their lives to mental health and suicide prevention awareness.
The Stewarts say they got involved after finding out information about the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
NAMI is funded by the state mental health and substance abuse department.
The Stewarts now travel the state working with NAMI and the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network working to advocate, educate and find resources to help understand mental illness.
Suicide continues to be an issue in the state. A newly released report shows that suicide is the leading cause of injury death in Tennessee. More people die by suicide than by car crashes or murder. The report correlates with a new study from the Centers for Disease Control that shows that suicide is rising across the United States.
READ MORE HERE: SUICIDE REMAINS A LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN TENNESSEE
Officials say one of the best ways to help with suicide prevention awareness is getting the word out and talking about the issue.
One News Channel 11 viewer, who wished to speak under anonymity, shared the following story via email.
“So my fiance tried to kill herself arounD this time last year, about 3 weeks after we got engaged. There were a lot of contributing factors that lead to the situation. A lot of it mainly comes from her inability to deal with and communicate her emotions and letting other people, such as her mother paint a negative self-image of herself. Another contributing factor is the inability to cope with stress and anxiety. A lot of these issues stemmed from her childhood and her mother.
A lot of people attribute seeing a therapist as a sign of weakness or that something is seriously wrong. However, that’s not the case, it’s more about preventative maintenance for your mental health! Mental health in our society is starting to become more recognized as a necessity, sadly it’s still got a long ways to go.
My fiance and I both are now seeing a therapist for individual counseling as well as couples counseling. Since she attempted to kill herself, she has spent a week in a hospital and been regularly seeing a therapist. She’s really almost made a complete transformation in terms of being able to communicate her emotions and getting more in touch with her emotions. Also, our relationship has grown significantly stronger too!
It’s worth noting that I didn’t know what to do when everything happened. It was because of a song entitled “1 800 273 8255” by Logic that helped give me direction on what to do. The title of the song is the national suicide prevention hotline and they helped out a lot!!
If you know of anyone dealing with depression or show signs of suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255.