September is Suicide Prevention Month; Let’s Light the River!

Published 11:37 am Friday, September 22, 2023

The National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI) has designated September as Suicide Prevention Month as a time to raise awareness and discuss this highly stigmatized topic. In addition to shifting public perception, Y’all Means All Natchez uses this month to spread hope and vital information to people affected by suicide.

The goal is to ensure that individuals, friends, and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and seek help.

This year Y’all Means All-Natchez (YMAN) asks the Miss-Lou to join along the path of the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River on Sunday evening, Sept. 24, at approximately 6 p.m. to light a candle for hope, raising awareness, and breaking down barriers about suicide. It will be a time to share resources, stories, and, most importantly, support.

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YMAN invites you to join the community on the Natchez Bluff to Light the River in memory of someone who has died from suicide. Come light a candle in memory of your loved one.

YMAN encourages you to come out and Light the River in honor of a failed attempt as well. Let’s cherish that beautiful life. Please bring your family, neighbors, and friends to Light the River.

If you know someone who is struggling with any type of mental illness or someone who may be contemplating suicide, ask them to join you. Let’s come together to show support. Suicide sets no boundaries, no stereotypes, and does not discriminate.

Did you know that suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States and a major public health concern? When a person dies by suicide, the effects are felt by family, friends, and communities, as stated by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Michael Gray, president of Y’all Means All Natchez said, “September is Suicide Prevention Month which gives us the opportunity to come together to say, “YOU ARE NOT ALONE!” or “I’M HERE FOR YOU.” He goes on to say, “No one should have to solve life’s challenges alone. Life gets overwhelming and we are all striving to thrive daily. Say you will join us on Sunday at 6 p.m. on the Natchez Bluff.”

If life is difficult for you or someone you know, please know there is professional, confidential help a phone call away. River Ridge Behavioral Health and the National Alliance of Mental Illness (601) 899-9058 are two options along with many local contacts. You can also dial the below numbers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to reach someone:

·       Dial 988 – The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else.  To speak with a trained listener, call 988.

·       Veterans Crisis line is 988, Press 1. Connects Veterans and Service Members in crisis and their families with qualified, caring U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential hotline, online chat, or text.

·       Last, the Crisis Text Line – Text SAVE to 741741. This is a texting service for emotional crisis support allowing you to text with a trained helper.  It is free, confidential and available 24/7.

Suicide IS preventable! All of us has a role to play to assure NO ONE IS ALONE and WE ARE ALWAYS THERE. Help us spread the word by joining Y’all and Means All, NAMI, and other organizations on the bluff Sunday at 6 p.m. to Light the River. Let us show our neighbors we are available for each other. We stand together.

Just one light will SHINE BRIGHT. Many lights shine brighter.

Shining brightly together brings BRIGHTER TOMORROWS.

Brighter tomorrows empower BRIGHT NEW BEGINNINGS.

Our community needs your light. Together we can make a change in Mental Health.