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Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Each year an estimated 750 men, women and children die by suicide in Tennessee. Nationally, suicide is the 11 th leading cause of death with one suicide occurring on average every 18 minutes, with one suicide occurring on average every 18 minutes. Over 765,000 Americans attempt suicide each year, and roughly five million Americans are survivors of the suicide of a friend, family member, or loved one. Currently, suicide ranks as the third leading cause of death within the 15-24 age bracket in Tennessee . The state suicide rate routinely surpasses the national average by a margin of 30% or more.

Because of these alarming statistics, the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network has set aside September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in Tennessee . This observance coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September and the nationally recognized occurrence of Suicide Prevention Week which coincides with that date. The Network has traditionally opted to extend the statewide observance to a month in order to coordinate suicide prevention and awareness activities across the state of Tennessee .

In Tennessee , the month of September is host to a series of activities throughout the state organized by members of the Network to remember those lost to suicide, offer comfort to survivors of suicide and suicide attempts, and educate the general public about the nature of suicide as a public health problem and their ability to prevent it.

The highlight of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month involves the presentation of a proclamation from the Governor of Tennessee marking the official declaration of the observance. The Suicide Prevention Awareness Day ceremony has taken place on the grounds of the State Capitol every year since the event’s inception in 2001. It is attended by survivors and Network members from across the state.

During the month of September, proclamations similar to the one signed by the Governor are collected from mayors and county executives across the state of Tennessee.