Jennie: Mental Health Moment with Terry Lee #2

Jennie

Terry Lee is the founder and Executive Director of Overflow Foundation.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) September is Suicide Awareness & Prevention Month. In an effort to encourage conversation about an uncomfortable subject, the Jennie Show is committed to erasing the stigma surrounding mental health issues. We are opening the dialogue and sharing the stories of survivors of suicide loss, and attempted suicide, as a way to reach out to others who may be suffering in silence. Each week in September, Terry Lee, founder of Overflow Foundation, will share a Mental Health Moment. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Hi everyone, I’m Terry Lee… a pastor’s wife, mother, nurse and the Founder and Executive Director of Overflow Foundation. Overflow is a nonprofit organization started in memory of my son, Phillip Lee Jr., who died by suicide on September 6, 2018. The foundation is committed to pouring hope into life (# PHIL) by promoting mental health and suicide prevention, as well as providing mental health education.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, so Overflow Foundation is teaming up with WJBF to help raise awareness in our community, and assist in reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. If at any time you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help by calling the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Current research shows that people who are having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone asks if they are having those thoughts. Acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation.

So don’t be afraid to ask the tough question, and ask them directly, “Are you having thoughts of killing yourself?” Also ask them if they have thought about how they would do it, and be sure to separate them from anything they are thinking of using to hurt themselves. Be sure to listen in a non-judgmental way, acknowledging their pain, but never agree to keep this information a secret. Inform other family members or friends who may be able to assist in keeping the individual safe.

Interacting with someone who is having suicidal thoughts is never an easy thing to do, but remember, you may be the one person who could save a life, and who could assist them in taking their next steps towards hope and recovery.

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