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The suicide rate in Tennessee is 20 percent higher than the national average.
“This is not a statistic to be proud of,” said Jayson Davis, spokesperson for MAD SAM (Make a Difference, Suicide Awareness Movement). “We need courageous people to help make a difference and turn this problem into a solution.”
“We have a focus on the youth of our area that centers around bullying. Bullying has become a huge problem in our area and has influenced some of our young people to give up on life and that is a tragedy,” he said.
“We are excited to have Nashville singer/songwriter Matt Kennon bringing his ‘Stop The Bull’ anti-bullying campaign to our area schools on Friday, Oct. 4,” Davis said.
Franklin County Mayor Richard Stewart has made a firm stance on his recognition of the problem through his proclamation for September as Suicide Awareness Month in Franklin County. Sheriff Tim Fuller of Franklin County has also joined in the efforts and is doing his part to Make A Difference.
“We are having multiple area people reaching out to us through facebook and through the Contact Lifeline 24 hour Crisis Number 1-800-454-8336 with life issues which show that we are being effective but we want to reach everyone that has a feeling of hopelessness.”
MAD SAM currently has an awareness walk scheduled for Oct. 5 at the Winchester City Park.
“We have been blessed with a very talented and compassionate leadership team this year. We have some very exciting plans already for this year’s walk including some surprises you won’t want to miss,” Davis said.
The group has a ton of activities planned throughout the day beginning at noon, which include vendor booths, concessions, a Kidz Zone, “Ride4Life” Poker Run, “Love Me Tender” Dog Contest, Bingo, Putt Put, Corn Hole, ‘Pickin’ At The Park” and much more.
On. Tuesday, Sept. 17, from 8 until 9:30 a.m. suicide awareness training for ministers will be held at the Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce.
MAD SAM invites everyone to “friend” their Facebook page, titled as “MAD SAM” in Winchester, to join this movement and Make A Difference.
For more information about participant registration, contact Chris Ross at 931-623-3763. To volunteer, call Doris Freeze at 931-308-6533, and for general information call Jayson Davis at 931-691-0629.