Natchez needs suicide support group

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 20, 2008

In light of recent situations in our area, I would like to remind the public that they need to use the utmost respect and tact when speaking of suicide.

As far as I know, our area has nothing to help people dealing the suicide of a loved one. I lost my father to suicide on April 9, 2002, and it changed my life forever. It is a shock that is indescribable. I am finally at a point that I am ready — in fact I feel an urgency — to use the pain and help others. I have contacted the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and have received information from them on how to get a Suicide Survivor Support Group started here.

Also, I am trying to get an “Out of the Darkness” community walk started in the fall. This is much like the Relay for Life. It is to raise funds for suicide prevention and awareness when it comes to depression, etc. This subject is generally a hush-hush topic, and it doesn’t need to be. People in this state of mind are sick — something is wrong — they have an illness that goes unnoticed.

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My father was a well-known businessman who seemed to be happy. I never would have guessed he would take his own life. This is something that could happen to anyone on any given day.

There is support in the community for awareness for cancer research and other worthy causes. Our society needs to be just as willing to do the same for suicide prevention.

Please remember — when a life is lost in this manner — that was still a precious life that was in a lot of pain. They left behind loved ones who are hurting. Every 16 minutes in the United States, a life is lost to suicide. Every 17 minutes, someone is left to make sense of it.

Erin Sessions

Natchez resident