SPRINGFIELD, MO - With the celebrity suicides this week this is an opportunity to open a dialogue about mental health with loved ones. One organization that is starting the conversation. The National Alliance on Mental Illness and they say suicide happens every day and it’s happening here in Greene County. With 64 confirmed cases of suicide last year, we’ve already seen from January to April, of this year, six confirmed teen suicides.
Stephanie Appleby, with NAMI, says, “I think that, sometimes, people dealing with mental illness don’t necessarily want to die they just want the pain to end.”
She says if you know somebody showing signs of loss of interest, sleeping more or not enough, or anything out of the ordinary it’s okay to talk to them. "Start the conversation by saying, ‘How can I help? I’ve noticed you haven’t been yourself, lately.’ Don’t use statements like, ‘What’s wrong with you? You need therapy. You need to go to the doctor. There’s something really wrong with you.’”
Affecting all ages, statistics show that males are more likely to commit suicide in Greene County.
"I just think, the more we start the conversation, remember when we were talking about breast cancer and save the boobies and it just became so common," says Appleby. "That’s where we have to get with this."
And to get the conversation started Appleby is starting a project called ‘It Knows No Face.’ "It’s going to be a traveling exhibit and it’s going to be individuals of survivors of suicide. That’s going to be a huge initiative for our community.”
Along with the exhibit, there are other events coming up here real soon to get the conversation started on suicide. A 5K Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention is being held August 18, 2018.
You can register by clicking here.