Tennessee Working To Reduce Number Of Spring Suicides
by Marcus Washington
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In Tennessee the number of suicide deaths are twice that of homicides, but within the last three years the number has been decreasing.
For many people the beginning of spring is a time to get outside and enjoy life, but for the mobile crisis team at the Mental Health Cooperative, it a time to help save lives.
"They often think the Christmas or the holiday times is the increase in suicide rates, but what we have found is the spring and summer months, we tend to see a spike in that," said Amanda Myatt Bracht, Chief Clinical Officer with Mental Health Co-op.
The organization handles crisis situations for Davidson County.
"What that means is that, we have to have trained mental health professionals available 24/7 to respond to any sort of psychiatric crisis; whether that be due to suicide or due to some other psychiatric illness," she said.
Within the past three years, thousands of people across Tennessee have received suicide prevent training and eleven counties have adopted task forces focusing on suicide prevention.
Mental Health Co-op even has a walk-in clinic available for anyone needing to speak with someone face to face.
"Even on the weekend or three in the morning, we have staff here who will do it, an assessment, and determine what the most appropriate care is for that individual," said Myatt Bracht.
In Tennessee suicide is the third leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24, many of them students.
It's the reason more than 55,000 Tennessee teachers had some type of suicide prevention training last year.
"People who have attempted who were not lethal in their attempt have often said, 'l just needed somebody to listen to me and be open to discussing what I was feeling,'" she said.
Bracht says identifying the problem and reinforcing the reasons for living are important keys to remember, but listening is the first step in helping.
To find out more about the signs to look for dealing with someone contemplating suicide and how to get help visit Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network.