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.


Alexander: New FDA Cancer Center Brings “Exactly The Kind Of Coordination Necessary” To Get More Individualized Treatments And Cures To Patients

Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander said Wednesday that Vice President Biden’s announcement of a new Oncology Center of Excellence at the Food and Drug Administration brings “exactly the kind of coordination necessary” to get more individualized treatments and cures to patients. “This new center of excellence is exactly the kind of FDA coordination the Senate health ... (click for more)

Alexander: Darin Gordon Helped Transform TennCare Into One Of The Country’s Most Fiscally Responsible Medicaid Programs

Senator Lamar Alexander Wednesday praised the “tireless” service of Darin Gordon, Tennessee’s longest-serving TennCare director, who will be stepping down from the position after more than a decade of service:                                                   ... (click for more)

County Commission Gives Up Fight On $900,000 In Discretionary Funds

County Commission members have given up the fight for the annual $900,000 in discretionary funds. Commission Chairman Chester Bankston said there was not enough money available after requests from a number of agencies and departments were cut to balance the budget without a tax increase. Commissioner Sabrena Smedley said the fact that commissioners can no longer allot the ... (click for more)

Bridge Repair Over 12th Street To Cause Temporary Lane Closure On US 27

While investigating a pothole in the bridge on U.S. 27 North over 12 th Street in the construction zone, crews discovered a potential weak spot in the bridge deck that could over time result in more damage to the bridge deck.  For the safety of the traveling public, the outside lane in this area will be closed until the contractor makes necessary repairs, TDOT officials ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11 - And Response (2)

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Story You Won’t See

In a puzzling time when the big daily newspapers have veered strongly away from “all the news that is fit to print,” allow me to share a story that you very likely will not see on CNN, ABC News, or in the big media conglomerates that influence the way you think, the way you react and – as a result – easily warp our common senses. This story is very true. Late last Sunday afternoon, ... (click for more)