TN Suicide Rates Are More Than Numbers

        The number 13 means a lot to Hamilton County welder Chuck Lambert, since his 36-year-old son Chad took his life just a few years ago.
         "13 was Chad’s favorite number."
        The number 13 is once again relevant, since the numbers of suicides in Tennessee have just been reported for the year 2013.
        1,017 total for the state reported suicides, 53 in Hamilton County alone.
        To Chuck, those numbers aren’t just numbers, they’re people.

        "Those people are somebody’s child, they’re somebody’s husband, they’re somebody’s wife, they’re somebody," Lambert said.
        In order to bring those numbers down, Donna Maddox with the Johnson Mental Health Group says we need to start talking more openly about suicide.
        "People that feel they have no hope for something changing in their life, we’d like to think out of humanity we need to reach out to those people," Maddox said.
        "I know now that Chad was showing signs, but but being uneducated on what those signs were, me and all his friends we didn’t know," said Lambert.
        Knowing those warning signs is the first step to helping someone.
        "Somebody that is chronically depressed and untreated at the time, but it can be withdrawing from their friends and families, making final plans," said Maddox.
        If you recognize those signs in a loved one, Crisis Walk in Center Director Lisa Higgins says it’s imperative to talk to them about it.
        "Talking with them with compassion and letting them know you care means a lot to those folks."
          The next step is helping them get the help that can save their lives.
          Chuck now holds annual bike ride and festivals to raise money for the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network in Chad’s honor.
           It’s called V13ION and takes place on September 5th.
           To find out more visit:
          If you have a mental health emergency, you can call 1-800-704-2651
          Chattanooga also has a walk-in center at 413 Spring Street.

Categories: Health, Local News

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