City Councilwoman Hope Freshour during Monday night’s Columbus City Council meeting urged everyone to be aware September is National Suicide Prevention Month and of resources available.
“Mental health is something that we all have. It is how we feel and respond to stress and emotions …” Freshour said, noting she has lost family and friends to suicide. “We need to reduce that stigma and bring awareness so that lives are saved.”
National Suicide Prevention Month is a time to raise awareness and discuss. In addition to shifting public perception, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “the month is used to spread hope and vital information to people affected by suicide. Our goal is ensuring that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help.”
Freshour specifically cited 988, a national suicide and crisis lifeline available 24/7 that allows people to call, text and chat with trained counselors, before mentioning other resources available in the community. She also said the area and surrounding areas in general have a 50% higher youth suicide attempt than the state average.
“So, we need to bring awareness to our youth and make sure that we have resources in place,” Freshour said.
Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was responsible for over 48,000 deaths in 2021.
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