You're Not Alone

Friday, August 15, 2014 - by Commissioner E. Douglas Varney
E. Douglas Varney
E. Douglas Varney

Through the untimely death of entertainer Robin Williams, a bright light is shining once again on the often-avoided conversation about suicide. 

In my work over the years as a mental health professional, helping people through crisis of spirit, marriage and family, I have seen firsthand how people feel hopeless in their struggle. I have also seen the tragic consequences of someone committing suicide and the family members left behind. 

Today, as the commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, my mission is to help people out of that dark lonely place and to know there is hope.

While we all face challenges in life, some of us tragically succumb to fears that manifest into a nightmare, bound and determined to erase our will to live. 

If you or someone you know and love is at a breaking point, especially one so low they speak of wanting to end their life, take immediate action to get them help. Ask for help and you will get it.

Call the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services 1-855-CRISIS-1 or (1-855-274-7471). Someone is there, 24-7 to listen and help.  

There are people across the state who will mobilize to assist you. 

Other resources include: 
TN Suicide Prevention Network at 615-297-1077 

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255) 

Click here to view available information online.

The tragic loss of actor and comedian Robin Williams has touched many. The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services’ skilled professionals and agency partners across the state are ready to help you and your loved ones overcome this or other challenges with mental health issues. 

Make that call for yourself or someone you love.   

E. Douglas Varney
Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services





Roy Exum: What Voters Think

There are over 9,000 students who attend Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., which – in an effort to be relative -- is just a touch smaller than our UT-Chattanooga. What makes Quinnipiac unique is that it is home of The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which produces what’s called the “Q Poll” because hardly anybody knows how to pronounce “Kwin-uh-pe-ack.” The Q ... (click for more)

Not Thrilled With The Parking Rate Increase

Mark your calendars for Sept. 1—the day the Chattanooga Parking Authority has announced it will raise parking rates around the city. In addition to the rate hikes, the Parking Authority will extend enforceable hours from 4:30-6 p.m.  and will include Saturdays as well. The Parking Authority has allowed for a learning curve, however, saying that during the month of September, ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center Seeking Court Approval To Sell Trenton Family Practice For $350,000

Hutcheson Medical Center, continuing to make cost-cutting measures, is seeking court approval to sell the Trenton Family Practice at Trenton, Ga., for $350,000. Ted Rumley, county executive for Dade County, said the medical center is so important for the county that officials have arranged for the Dade County Industrial Development Authority to buy it. He said arrangements ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed In Wreck On I-75 SB Involving 2 Tractor-Trailers And 3rd Vehicle; Volkswagen Drive Exit Closed Several Hours

One person was killed in a wreck on Interstate 75 involving three vehicles early Monday morning. Two of the vehicles were tractor-trailers. The accident happened at approximately 6:28 a.m. at the southbound lanes of 700 I-75. The southbound lanes at the Volkswagen Drive exit were closed for several hours. TDOT said the wreck was near the Bonny Oaks Drive/Collegedale ... (click for more)

Jumper, Ex-Baylor Star, To Start For Vols Vs. Bowling Green

(Story will be updated) When 25 th -ranked Tennessee plays Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, former Baylor School standout Colton Jumper will be the Vols’ starting middle linebacker. The 6-foot-2-inch, 227-pound Jumper played at Baylor for coach Phil Massey and recorded 251 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 22 sacks, two interceptions, caused ... (click for more)

Baylor Sweeps Two Nashville Teams In Volleyball Saturday

Volleyball teams from Brentwood Academy and Pope John Paul II have at least one thing in common on Saturday following matches with Baylor and GPS.  They both headed back to Nashville with a win and a loss as both beat GPS and both lost to Baylor. Baylor improved to 13-1 overall and 3-0 in region play with Saturday's two wins, including a 3-1 verdict over Brentwood ... (click for more)