Suicide Prevention Awareness Raised

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By Matthew Searcy

WSIL -- More than 35,000 people in the U.S. take their life every year, an average of 105 a day. Local mental health care workers are fighting to change those statistics.  

"We don't want to see people harm themselves," said Centerstone crisis center director, Verletta Saxon. "We want them to know their lives are valuable." 
 
She's noticed an increase in the number of adults and baby boomers in need of help.  
 
"Generally the age group between 35 and 65 is usually the highest number of suicides that we see," explained Saxon.  
 
For adults, marital problems, unemployment and substance abuse can have a lasting impact, but Saxon says all of those issues can be treated. 
     
"There are a lot of people who are hurting and a lot of people who don't necessarily know what to do with the emotional pain that they feel," explained Saxon.  
     
Anthony Cawthon works with patients everyday, and says too often people with depression only seek help after a push from family members and friends.   
 
"We need to take more time and listen to the people that we care about and love," explained Cawthon. 
 
He says getting a person to ask for help is the biggest challenge crisis managers face.  
 
"We do have a lot of clients that have been depressed for an extensive amount of time and that's what we want to reiterate to them," said Cawthon. "It's not going to be like this forever. It doesn't have to be like this forever." 
 
 
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