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Manchester, Coffee Co. Mayors proclaim September as Suicide Awareness Month

Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman and Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell joined several leaders across the state in signing a proclamation recognizing September as Suicide Awareness Month in Manchester and Coffee County
.The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network will hold several events across the state in observance of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month this September.

According to an August 2020 Harris Poll conducted by leaders in the suicide prevention field, more than half of adults know someone who has had suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and approximately 1 in 4 U.S. adults has personally thought about or attempted suicide. In Tennessee, an average of 3 people die by suicide each day. In 2018 – the latest year for which state-specific figures are available – there were 1,159 recorded suicide deaths in Tennessee.

TSPN draws awareness to this public health issue throughout the year, and these efforts culminate during a statewide event each September. This year’s event, held on September 10, was a success, drawing in more than 250 attendees across the state. Attendees included professionals in the mental health field, government leaders, and dedicated friends of TSPN. The event featured many informative talks from TSPN leaders and wrapped up with a keynote address from Dr. Kelly Posner, creator of the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS).

See the full proclamation signed by Norman below:
WHEREAS, suicide is one of the most disruptive and tragic events a family and a community can experience, with more than 1100 lives lost in Tennessee each year and an estimated 25 attempted suicides for each suicide death; and

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WHEREAS, suicide is the 9th-leading cause of all deaths in Tennessee, the second-leading cause of death among youth ages of 10 to 24, and the first leading cause for children ages 10-17; and

WHEREAS, more than three lives a day are lost to suicide in Tennessee, which means we lose 21 Tennesseans each week and 84 people per month; and

WHEREAS, Tennessee veterans, active-duty military, and National Guardsmen face a disproportionate risk as compared to the general population, with more dying from suicide than combat; and

WHEREAS, public awareness of this tragic problem is the key to preventing further suffering and loss of life; and the risk for human self-destruction can be reduced through awareness, education and treatment as the highest risk for suicide is among the survivors of those who died by suicide or those who have attempted suicide; and

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WHEREAS, suicide prevention has been declared a state priority by the Governor; and the Tennessee Legislature has declared teen suicide prevention as a state priority in partnership with the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network to implement the Tennessee Strategy for Suicide Prevention; and

WHEREAS, Tennessee is a national leader in the effort to prevent suicide, being one of the first states to develop a suicide prevention and evaluation plan covering the lifespan; and

WHEREAS, the Governor of Tennessee has appointed a Suicide Prevention Network Advisory Council to coordinate the implementation of the Tennessee Strategy for Suicide Prevention; and

WHEREAS, the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network 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 our state; and

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WHEREAS, 2020 marks Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network’s 20th year of dedicated efforts to reach every Tennessean in every county; and

WHEREAS, every member of our community should understand that throughout life’s struggles we all need occasional reminder that we are all silently fighting our own battles; and

WHEREAS, we encourage all Tennesseans to take the time to inquire as to the wellbeing of their family, friends, and to genuinely convey their appreciation for their existence by any gesture they deem appropriate. A simple phone call, message, handshake, or hug can go a long way towards helping someone realize that suicide is not the answer; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Lonnie J. Norman, Mayor of the City of Manchester, do hereby proclaim September 2020, as SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH in Manchester, Tennessee, and do urge all citizens to work to prevent suicide and to raise awareness and tolerance around all people affected by this tragedy.

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 Pictured (below) standing from left are City of Manchester Vice Mayor Marilyn Howard and Contact Life Line of the Highland Rim Representative Ellen Stowers; seating from left are City of Manchester Mayor Lonnie J. Norman and Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell. The proclamation signing took place today at the City of Manchester in an effort to show a united front.

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