State To Plant Special "Living Matters" Tree In Bicentennial Park In Nashville To Honor Survivors Of Suicide

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) is joining with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Tennessee) and the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN) to highlight Suicide Prevention Awareness Month with the planting of a special “Living Matters” tree in Bicentennial Park.

A ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. CDT on Monday, Sept. 30, near the roundabout at 6th Avenue and Harrison Street, just north of downtown Nashville. A commemorative plaque will be placed under the Willow Oak tree to honor all survivors of suicide. It will be inscribed: “LIVING MATTERS: Dedicated to Survivors of Suicide; Individuals, their families, and their friends.”

TDMHSAS Commissioner Douglas Varney, NAMI Tennessee Executive Director Jeff Fladen, and TSPN Executive Director Scott Ridgway will speak at the event. Members of the public are invited to attend.

“Suicide Prevention Awareness Month may last just 30 days, but that won’t stop the pain of suicide and attempted suicide,” said Commissioner Varney. “Suicide prevention is a year-round issue, and I urge all Tennesseans to do everything they can to help us end this tragedy.”

Some key facts about suicide in Tennessee:

· Between 1981 and 2011, the number of Tennessee deaths attributed to suicide almost doubled.

· Major depression is the psychiatric diagnosis most commonly associated with suicide.

· About two-thirds of people who die by suicide are clinically depressed at the time of their deaths.

· The risk of suicide in people with major depression is about 20 times that of the general population.

· People who have a dependence on alcohol or drugs in addition to being depressed are at greater risk for suicide.

“Suicide remains a major threat to middle-aged adults in our state, and the ebb of the Middle East conflicts means more soldiers trying to reconcile their wartime experiences with civilian life,” said TSPN Executive Director Scott Ridgway. “In the months and years to come, we’ll be counting more than ever on our partnerships with TDMHSAS and NAMI Tennessee, as well the help of the general public, to prevent suicide and save lives. 

Anyone who is in a crisis or knows someone who is in a crisis, whether or not they are thinking about killing themselves, is urged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800 273-TALK (8255). Callers will be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in their area 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are confidential and free.

Also, the TDMHSAS has a toll-free statewide phone number for mental health and substance use crisis services. The number, 855-CRISIS-1 (855 274-7471), will route callers to their local crisis provider.


Heartland Ranch To Fund Interactive Arcade At Orange Grove Center

Orange Grove Center, Heartland Ranch and UTC Department of Health Promotion and Human Performance announce the grand opening of the Heartland Arcade at Orange Grove Center, Isidore Tyber Building,  2325 Shady Ln.  on Friday from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Funded by the Heartland Ranch, the arcade will provide interactive kinetic video and arcade gaming opportunities for individuals ... (click for more)

'Cops For A Cause' In Support Of 2nd Annual Chattanooga Autism Awareness Walk

The 2nd Annual Chattanooga Autism Awareness Walk will take place on Saturday, Nov. 8 at Coolidge Park with a starting time of 10:45 a.m.,  with children’s activities available starting at 8 a.m. The route for the 2 miles total walk will start at Coolidge Park and continue over the pedestrian bridge, around the art district and then back to Coolidge Park. For this ... (click for more)

Chickamauga Lock To Reopen As Soon As Next Thursday

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District  plans to reopen Chickamauga Lock to all navigation traffic as early as next Thursday. An inspection of the upper gate anchorage and a repair plan were completed today. Chickamauga Lock closed on Monday after a routine inspection revealed a crack in the anchorage of the upper gate. Lt. Col. John Hudson, commander ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

A Vote For Education Is Critical In Tennessee

In a state where just 28 percent of eighth graders are proficient in math and 33 percent are proficient in reading according to national assessments, education is deserving of more attention in 2014 elections. Across the country, more parents are making informed decisions about their child’s education, but for Volunteer State parents without resources, choices are difficult to come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saban: ‘Ratings Don’t Matter’

When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week, Alabama football coach Nick Saban got it right on the button when he shrugged, “I don't even care, to be honest with you." "To me, none of it matters, What does it matter?” he laughed at the Tide’s No. 6 ranking. “I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how ... (click for more)