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Suicide Prevention Awareness
Suicide Prevention

DeKalb County Mayor Matt Adcock and Smithville Mayor Josh Miller were joined by Kristi Paling Regional Coordinator, Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, and Jennifer Matthews, Certified Prevention Specialist and Director of DeKalb Prevention Coalition, as they signed a proclamation designating September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

The proclamation reads as follows:

WHEREAS, suicide is one of the most disruptive and tragic events a family and a community can experience, with more than 1,100 lives lost in Tennessee each year and an estimated 25 attempted suicides for each suicide death; and  

WHEREAS, suicide is the ninth-leading cause of all deaths in Tennessee, the second-leading cause of death among youth ages of 10 to 14 as well as young adults ages 25-34 and the third leading cause for children ages 15-24; and

WHEREAS, more than three lives a day are lost to suicide in Tennessee, which means we lose 21 Tennesseans each week and 97 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

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

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, Matt Adcock and Josh Miller, Mayors of DeKalb County and Smithville, do hereby proclaim September 2022, as SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH in DeKalb County, Tennessee, and do urge all citizens to work to prevent suicide and to raise awareness and tolerance around all people affected by this tragedy.