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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

by Susanne Slay-Westbrook LPC-S, LMFT-S on September 20, 2023

Saoirse Kennedy-Hill, the granddaughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, committed suicide August 1, 2019; she had been dealing with deep bouts of depression sense middle school and was hospitalized at least once. Her family had all the resources any family could hope to have, and yet they were not able to save her. For more about Ms. Kennedy-Hill’s story in her own words, go to deerfieldscroll.com/2016/02/mental-illness-at-deerfield.

Suicide is often an elusive possibility to those who care about a person living with depression, even when it is probable, when all the signs are there…in hindsight. It is hard to fathom, hard to predict and, therefore, many times hard to prevent. This is why our awareness to the warning signs of mental illness and our willingness to lovingly step in without judgment is so vital. 

For those who are feeling suicidal, it is critical for you to know that you are loved and supported by God, members of your family and this church. Please reach out to someone you trust, a friend, family member, clergy or counselor to get the support you need. There is no shame in reaching out for help, professional or otherwise. Regardless, there is always the Suicide Hotline at 988 that is available to anyone 24/7. 

This month is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The CDC says that more than 130 suicides are committed in this country every day. If you or someone you know suffers with depression, or even if you don’t, it is our hope, from the Mental Health Ministry Team, that you will take some time to familiarize yourself with some of the information about Suicide provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at afsp.org/suicide-statistics.

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