TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) -- September is suicide prevention awareness month across the country. Suicide is the second leading cause of death of people ages 10 to 24 according to a provider of youth awareness programs called the Jason Foundation.
Sunday through this Saturday, September 14th, is national suicide prevention awareness week. Tuesday marks World suicide prevention awareness day. Many organizations across the Wabash Valley are also taking part this week in bringing awareness to suicide.
The United States sees 120 completed suicides daily and on top of that, 30 more individuals attempt suicide every day. Representatives from both the Hamilton Center and Team of Mercy say education and awareness are the most important tools when addressing suicide. That's why this week and month go a long way in starting conversations with people who need it the most.
"Team of Mercy is just really trying to bring this home this month to get it out there," Team of Mercy Executive Director Christina Crist said, "Just to even say the word suicide."
"It's our job to educate," Mental Health Counselor at the Hamilton Center Bill Little added, "You know to reach out and be able to discuss these matters openly because it's hard to talk about suicide. It's scary."
Tuesday evening at 7:30 P.M., Team of Mercy is hosting it's third annual Candlelight Vigil at Terre Haute's City hall Building. There will be a ceremony with speakers, the lighting of candles and a survivor reading names of loved ones that have made the choice to take their life.
"The big reason why we do this is to bring individuals together to one place," Crist said, "We have people that attend this event who don't go to support groups, who don't talk to other people, but they come to this event every year in hopes to be around like-minded people."
She says she wants to take steps to remove the stigma of suicide and mental health. "Stigma is associated with mental health counseling or seeking help or asking for help," Little concurred, "People feel that if they ask for help, that means there's something wrong with them."
The Hamilton Center is doing a social media campaign called the 22 pushup challenge. Businesses and community members challenge others to do 22 pushups to bring awareness to the issue of suicide.