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Advocates stress importance of suicide prevention month during COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted at 7:08 AM, Sep 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-13 08:36:31-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Deputies with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office saved two people this week by keeping them from jumping off the Natchez Trace Bridge. In two separate incidents, a man and woman in their twenties were contemplating suicide.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, a time when organizations continue to work towards breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health.

"It's been really hard for people," said Rikki Harris, the CEO of TN Voices.

Harris is taking this time to remind people of the resources available to them. Harris said she knows the last few months have been especially hard on people trying to cope with the pandemic.

In the midst of the health crisis, Harris said the national crisis line had an increase of about 890% of its normal call volume.

Factors like isolation and financial concerns have people feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Harris said TN Voices does have resources that are free if you're needing help but worried about money or loss of insurance.

"We're finding that people who have never struggled with things like depression or anxiety, and even suicidal ideation, and now in the midst of pandemic are having struggles that they don't know how to address," Harris said.

A recent study by the CDC showed that 40% of American adults struggled with mental health issues caused by the pandemic.

If you're struggling with depression or anxiety, you can reach out to TN voices by clicking here. People can also reach the TN Voices helpline at 1.800.670.9882.

Another great resource for people is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255.