Resources for those contemplating suicide or who have experienced suicide in the family

Last week, in recognition of Suicide Prevention Week, Walton Wellness, along with Ridgeview Institute, the Walton County School System and members of the clergy and Law Enforcement served on a panel answering questions about suicide, its impact on the community and the resources available for those either contemplating suicide or dealing with the loss of a family member to suicide. With mental health so much at the forefront of this issue, it brings together all these resources in a way that they would prefer not to happen.

“Suicide is up 30% in the U.S.  One in 4 kids under the age of 18 struggle with some type of mental health issue.  Unfortunately, Walton County is not protected from being a number in these statistics. In fact, Walton County has an increased suicide rate, above the state of Georgia average. This year alone we have had at least one suicide a month and many more who have attempted taking their own life,” Walton Wellness director DeDe Harris wrote. “Suicide impacts our community and the families of its victims in a way that no other death does. It is tough and uncomfortable to talk about so it is pushed into the dark where it is empowered to fester and spread. Its victims are also there, in the dark, isolated, afraid, hopeless and paralyzed by stigma.”

The forum, aptly named “Into the Light,” was the start of a conversation, Harris said, that was aimed at shining a light on the issue in an attempt to help those who are battling with it. Harris said it is only the beginning of the conversation. The hope is that there will be more. In the meantime, there are other resources available in the community, including a support group that is in the early stages of being formed.

If you’re concerned someone is at risk for suicide:

  • Recognize the signs of emotional suffering
  • Express concern, offer support, listen nonjudgmentally
  • Ask the questions directly, in a private setting
  • Stay calm
  • Care enough to keep the person safe
  • Text or call a number for extra suppport
  • Get help now
  • TEXT: 741741

  • CALL 1-800-SUICIDE

If you are confronting suicide, either by contemplating it yourself, dealing with a friend or family member who may be, or are the survivor in a family where a suicide took place, here are some local resources you can consider:

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Family Support Group

Wednesdays from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Ridgeview Institute – Monroe, 709 Breedlove Dr., Monroe, GA 30655 (This is a peer-led support group for families, caregivers and loved ones of individuals living with mental illness)

Into the Light

Monday nights at 7 p.m. at Grace Monroe at the Mill in the Student Center, 601 S. Madison Ave, Monroe, GA 30655 – 678-283-7876 (You’re invited to learn how to process pain better and gain support from those who have walked through similar experiences.)

A Walton Wellness Series: Suicide In Walton: Episode 1 On Call with the Sheriff’s Office

Walton Wellness: Suicide In Walton: Episode 2 The Bible Tells Me So

Walton Wellness: Suicide in Walton County: Episode 3 A Personal Story

Walton Wellness: Suicide in Walton County: Episode 4 The Burden of the Badge

Walton Wellness: Suicide in Walton County: Episode 5 Where to find hope and help



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