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September named Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

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Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, and Jones County is commemorating the day and the entire month of September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

The Jones County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a proclamation at their Aug. 18 meeting declaring the month of September Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in Jones County.

Jones County’s Suicide Prevention Coalition members are encouraged the use of glow sticks to show their support by “Shining a Light of Suicide Prevention” and displaying them in their businesses and homes.

To get a package containing glow sticks and suicide prevention information, contact Joy Carr at 478-319-8209 or by email at jonescountyfamilyconnection@gmail.com.

The first meeting about the issue of suicide in Jones County took place in July of 2019. Carr, who is the Jones County Family Connection coordinator, subsequently stepped up to lead when the coalition was formed.

The number of suicides in Jones County in 2016 put it 21st in the state, which caught the attention of Dr. Marla Vernon and Dr. Amanda Allen, who are professors at Augusta University. The professors were dealing with similarly alarming statistics in Richmond County, and the meeting was to gauge Jones County’s interest in a partnership to apply for a grant to help both counties reduce those numbers.

The annual number of suicides in Jones County continues to be alarming, but the effort to bring awareness to suicide prevention continues. The grant to fund the effort from Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Disabilities was funded for a second year.

Information is updated daily on the Jones County Suicide Prevention Coalition Facebook page to provide resources and support. One new addition to the page is spotlights of community leaders. This week’s spotlight is Jones County Commissioner Sam Kitchens, who is an active coalition member.

The coalition is at work to bring attention to suicide prevention during the entire month of September. In addition to the Shine a Light campaign, individuals and organizations are encouraged to spread positive messages with chalk messages and post those messages and pictures on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags #JCChalkAboutSP, #JCShineALight, #KeepGoing, #GeorgiaPreventsSuicide to connect.

Carr also has chalk bags available to anyone who would like to participate.

Supporters are encouraged to join Self-Care Saturdays social media posts to highlight ideas for self-care and encourage folks to comment on what they have done for their own self-care.

For more information about the Jones County Suicide Prevention Coalition, go to the organization’s Facebook page or contact Carr at 478-319-8209 or by email at jonescountyfamilyconnection@gmail.com.