Mayors Michael Whisenant (seated, left) and Bill Newman (right) are pictured after signing a resolution last week recognizing September as Suicide Prevention Month. Pictured with them are (standing, from left) Harold Dawkins, Jen King, Samantha Sims and Marisa Thornton of the Lincoln County Suicide Prevention Network.

A resolution, signed by Lincoln County Mayor Bill Newman and Fayetteville Mayor Michael Whisenant, recognizes September as Suicide Prevention Month in the hope of drawing attention to one of the most disruptive and tragic events a family and a community can experience.

Adopted unanimously by the Lincoln County Commission last week, the resolution urges residents to take the time to inquire as to the wellbeing of their family, friends and neighbors and to genuinely convey their appreciation for their existence by any gesture they deem appropriate.

“A simple phone call, message, handshake, or a hug can go a long way towards helping someone realize that suicide is not the answer,” it states, resolving that the month of September 2019 be designated as the month all Lincoln Countians focus on suicide education and prevention.

“Research reveals that the suicide rate in the United States is the highest since the Great Depression, and in the United States, one million people attempt suicide each year,” the resolution continues. “For every one documented death by suicide, there are 25 attempts.”

Over the last three years, 3,338 Tennesseans have died by suicide – that’s one person aged 45 to 54 every two days, one person over the age of 65 every three days, and one person between the ages of 10 and 24 every four days.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for children ages 10 to 17, and the second leading cause of death among youths, ages 10 to 24. Overall, suicide is the ninth leading cause of all deaths in Tennessee, with more than 1,000 lives lost to Tennessee each year.

“Public awareness of this tragic problem is the key to preventing further suffering and loss of life, and the risk of 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.” adds the resolution.

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