In any given year, there are at least 900 recorded suicide deaths in the state of Tennessee. About 100 of these involve children, teens, and young adults (ages 10-24). Additionally, suicides among people in midlife (ages 45-64) are increasing both nationally and locally.
Suicide is more than a personal tragedy, or even a family tragedy. It is often the end result of unrecognized, undiagnosed, and undertreated mental illness. As such it is one of the most preventable causes of death and therefore a major public health concern for the people of Tennessee.
The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN) is the statewide public-private organization responsible for implementing the Tennessee Strategy for Suicide Prevention as defined by the 2001 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Our agency works across the state to eliminate the stigma of suicide and educate communities about the warning signs of suicide, with the ultimate intention of reducing suicide rates in the state of Tennessee.
As part of this year’s observance of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, we have initiated the “Pledge to Prevent Suicide” to demonstrate a public need for and an interest in suicide prevention in our state. The signatures for this petition will be presented at our Suicide Prevention Awareness Day event on September 12, 2012, at 10:30 AM at Trevecca Community Church, located at 335 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville. They may also be presented to the General Assembly as a testament to public support of policies supporting suicide prevention and mental wellness.
We would appreciate your signing and sharing this petition, and your visiting our website (www.tspn.org) to find out more about who we are and what we do. You are especially welcome to make a donation to support our work on the statewide and local level (http://tspn.org/donate-to-tspn). Finally, we cordially invite you to our Suicide Prevention Awareness Day event in September; please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS: Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@TSPNorg).
Pledge to Prevent Suicide in Tennessee
I believe that suicide is one of the most tragic events a family and community can experience, and that it is a major threat to the people and state of Tennessee.
I believe that awareness about suicide and mental illness is the key to preventing further suffering and loss of life, and that
I have the power to bring awareness, education, and understanding to people in my community and my state.
I therefore pledge to learn about the warning signs of suicide and teach them to others. I will learn about the mental health resources available in my community and share this information as needed. I will keep the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) on hand so I can use it to help someone else. I will review TSPN’s website (www.tspn.org) to learn about suicide in Tennessee and how I can get involved in the fight against suicide. In short, I will become a source of comfort, information, and guidance so that I can help others and save lives.
In addition, I will talk about my commitment to suicide prevention and mental health with my family, friends, colleagues, and public officials, reminding them that suicide is a major public health concern worth the time and effort involved.
Finally, I will share this Pledge to Prevent Suicide with all my personal and online contacts so that they too can take a stand in preventing suicide and saving lives in Tennessee.