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.


Richard Ervin Named Executive Director Of Life Care Center Of Ooltewah

Life Care Center of Ooltewah is welcoming a new executive director, Richard Ervin.  “Richard has years of experience in long-term health care,” said Carolyn Freeman, vice president of parent company Life Care Centers of America’s Cumberland Region. “He’s dedicated to serving our customers.”  Mr. Ervin comes to Life Care Center of Ooltewah from Holston Manor in Kingsport, ... (click for more)

Gregory Sutton Joins Tennessee Oncology

Tennessee Oncology  announced the arrival of Dr. Gregory Sutton, a medical oncologist who cares for patients at Tennessee Oncology Chattanooga’s Medical Park II location at 2200 East Third St. in Suite 100. “Dr. Sutton is a great addition to our growing network of physicians committed to caring for cancer patients within their community and close to their home,” said ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Rejects 10-Cent Tax Rise For Lake Forest MS; Firefighters Get $3,000 Raise

With a small crowd of demonstrators sitting in the back of the room with signs that read, “Vote no on property tax increase,” the Bradley County Commission on Monday night finally rejected a proposed 10-cent property tax increase that would have added funds to the construction of a new academic building at Lake Forest Middle School.   Funding for renovations at ... (click for more)

11 Attorneys Apply In 2nd Round For Replacing Judge Stern

Eleven attorneys have applied in the second round of applications to replace Rebecca Stern as judge of Criminal Court's Division II. The applicants are: Christian J. Coder Chattanooga Tracy Cox Signal Mountain Amanda B. Dunn Chattanooga Ardena Juanita Garth Chattanooga Thomas Clifton Greenholtz Ooltewah Andrea DeFay Hayduk ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Hay Fields Of July

Oh my goodness, July has just arrived and during my formative years, it was the most hated month of the year. When I was 12 years old, my wonderful grandfather decreed the days of begging for money to go to the picture show and burgers at the Krystal were over, that I was on the payroll for a dollar an hour and, in our family, folks worked for what they spent. Now my grandfather, ... (click for more)