TENNESSEE (WJHL)- Across the state, the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network is promoting its ‘Speak Up Save Lives’ campaign Friday, September 27.
The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network is asking everyone to wear the colors purple, teal, or grey and shares photos on social media using #SpeakUpSaveLives19 and #TSPN.
Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network works with the state to implement Tennessee’s strategy for suicide prevention statewide.
The month of September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month in the state of Tennessee.
Molly Colley is the Northeast Regional Director for the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network and is one of many people in our region who has lost someone to suicide.
“I think it’s really hard to find someone who hasn’t been affected by suicide in some way. I have lost family members and friends. Before working with TSPN I was working as a mental health therapist. Nationwide we know about 129 people a day die by suicide. In our state alone we’re looking at 1,100 people on average a year. It is one of the leading causes of death for people ages 10 to 24, and it is the leading cause of death from ages 10 to 17,” said Colley.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, in the United States alone someone dies by suicide every 12 minutes.
Some of the warning signs to watch out for are any type of drastic change in behavior or any visible marks of self-harm.
Heatherly Sifford has been working for TSPN for 10 years now, giving free training to those in the Tri-Cities region. She also has lost someone close to her due to suicide.
“I have a best friend who lost her son to suicide at the age of 16 almost four years ago. The ten to seventeen-year-old group, the biggest reason tends to be bullying,” said Sifford.
Colley said most of the people who work for TSPN are volunteers.
“We got people who are therapists working in health care people who have dealt with suicide loss personally. We couldn’t make it without our volunteers,” she said.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, you are urged to call the 24- hour free hotline at 1-800-273TALK or text TN to 741741 to connect to the Crisis Text Line and a trained counselor.