Suicides Rates Rise in Tennessee: Join Ascension Saint Thomas in Recognizing Suicide Awareness Week

Sep 07, 2021 at 10:16 am by WGNS

Suicide deaths in the U.S. are prevalent now more than ever. Tennessee’s suicide rate is the highest it has been in five years, according to the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network.

The National Alliance on Mental Illiness states that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10–34 and the 10th leading cause of death overall in the U.S. Since 1999, suicide rates have increased by 35%.

Ascension Saint Thomas is joining the community to recognize National Sucide Prevention week. This is an annual week-long campaign in the U.S to inform and engage health professionals and the general public about suicide prevention and warning signs of suicide. Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health, just recently opened a 76-bed hospital that provides inpatient programming for adults ages 18-64 and seniors age 65 and older who are struggling with behavioral health disorders. 

“Mental health cases have tripled since 2019. Depression has increased by 20% and anxiety has increased by 30%. We are seeing more individuals struggling with isolation during this time and that is what complicates the problem, it's a snowball effect,” said Dr. Joseph Sharpe, Chief Medical Officer of Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital. “ I want to encourage people to reach out to just start the conversation. The single most important thing is that you are not alone. There are professionals that are ready and willing to help you.”

Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Join Ascension Saint Thomas in recognizing suicide awareness week September 5th through 11th.  

Resources and more information on suicide prevention in Tennessee HERE


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