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September marks Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the country, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 8:22 AM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - September marks Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and this year, it’s more important than ever as the pandemic takes a toll on many people’s mental health.

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the country, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. That’s why the month is dedicated to ending the stigma that’s associated with suicide and mental health issues.

“It’s about sharing stories of individuals who have overcome suicide attempts and suicidal feelings. It’s about sharing stories of loved ones that are left behind and learning how to navigate their tragic loss. It’s about reaching out and maintaining social connection to maintain a sense of belonging," said Dana Cronkhite with Brynn Marr Hospital.

Cronkhite says it’s not a topic that’s easily talked about, but it’s necessary so we can all play a role in suicide prevention.

"The most important thing we can do is be there. I was talking to a friend who tragically lost her husband, a military veteran to suicide. I asked her what was helpful for her. Her first response to me was her biggest response was the have someone there to listen,” said Cronkhite.

Cronkhite says one of the biggest challenges people who have lost a loved one who to suicide feel is the guilt and shame of feeling responsible for what had happened. She says it’s important to understand what suicide loss survivors go through.

“We have to remember that this event has changed their loved ones lives forever and they’re going to have to learn how to cope with it. It’s not something they’re just going to get over, they have to learn how to cope with it. With our support, they can learn to be connected and supported,” Cronkhite explained.

If you or someone you love is experiencing thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

For additional resources, visit Brynn Marr Hospital’s website.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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