JENNIE: Phillip and Terry Lee talk about losing thier son, and events to raise awareness during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– All this month, we’re placing a special emphasis on suicide awareness.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. It’s a time when mental health advocates, survivors, allies, and communities unite to promote awareness. BeThe1To (help save a life) is the official message for this month and beyond, to show how we can all help prevent suicide.

So how can you be the one?

ASK— acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal thoughts.

BE THERE— people in crisis are more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful by after speaking to someone who listens without judgment.

KEEP THEM SAFE— separate them from anything they are thinking about using to hurt themselves.

HELP THEM STAY CONNECTED— family, friends, clergy, coaches, counselors, co-workers or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK(8255).

And finally, FOLLOW UP— check in on someone in crisis on a regular basis.

Terry and Phillip Lee lost their son to suicide in 2018. he was 29 years old. they have since formed the Overflow Foundation to raise awareness and educate the community about suicide prevention.

The foundation has trained and certified more than 500 individuals in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). In addition to teaching the MHFA classes, Overflow Foundation is sponsoring two very important events in the coming weeks.

The first is “Music and Mocktails” on Saturday, September 25, from 5-9 PM on the grounds of Odell Weeks recreation center in Aiken. This event is a family friendly live music event open to the entire CSRA, featuring four different live bands/performers and food trucks from the Aiken/Augusta area. The event will also feature a mocktails truck called Georgia Routes and they will be offering fresh fruit and herbal non-alcoholic beverages.

There will also be brief mental health awareness spots during stage breaks as bands change, as well as messages of HOPE and LIFE shared all doing the evening in a variety of ways. Overflow’s goal is not to focus on suicide, but to point people to HOPE and to the importance of staying connected to one another as a primary suicide prevention strategy.

The family-friendly Music & Mocktails event is Saturday, September 25 from 5-9 PM at Odell Weeks recreation center in Aiken

The second event is “Mental Health and the Modern Church” and is also sponsored and planned by Overflow Foundation, as we partner with Cedar Creek Church to host the event.

This one-day faith based mental health conference, being held on Friday, November 5, is designed to equip churches, church leaders, and congregations to provide effective and compassionate care to individuals (and their loved ones) who struggle with their mental health.

For more information, go to mhmcconference.com

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