In Tennessee, an estimated 900 men, women, and children die by suicide each year. More people die by suicide each year than from homicide, AIDS, or drunk driving. Suicide is the leading cause of violent deaths in our state, nationally, and worldwide, far above homicide and death due to natural disasters. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among youth and young adults ages 15-24 in Tennessee and throughout the entire nation. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, there were 938 recorded suicide deaths in our state in 2012, at a rate of 14.7 per 100,000 people.
In almost all cases, suicide can be traced to unrecognized, untreated, or poorly treated mental illness. It can happen to people of either sex, any race or ethnicity, and any economic status. The average suicide death leaves behind six survivors—family and friends of the deceased—all of who are at increased risk for a suicide attempt themselves. As if the emotional and psychological toll were not enough, suicide and suicide attempts cost the state of Tennessee $1 billion a year in medical treatment, lost wages, and lost productivity.
The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN), TrustPoint Hospital, and other allies in the public health, mental health, and social service fields are joining forces to recognize the month of September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. During this annual observance, TSPN and its allies arrange several educational and memorial events across Tennessee to help teach the general public about the problem of suicide and how it can be prevented. They also give us an opportunity to remember those lost to suicide; to encourage survivors of suicide, survivors of suicide attempts, and people who have triumphed over mental illness; and to recognize individuals who have made notable contributions to suicide prevention efforts in our state.
As part of this observance, Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg received a proclamation declaring September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which he signed at a recent event held at TrustPoint Hospital and presented to TrustPoint Intake Coordinator, Reba McBride in support of our state’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month efforts.
ClearPath Behavioral Health at TrustPoint Hospital is located at 1009 N. Thompson Lane in Murfreesboro – just ¼ mile from Medical Center Parkway. ClearPath helps residents of Rutherford and the surrounding counties who are experiencing a mental health crisis (including suicidal thoughts and depression). Individuals can be assessed by the professionals at TrustPoint Hospital 24 hours/day and 7 days/week and anyone can make a referral. For more information please call (615) 867-1111 or visit www.trustpointhospital.com.