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Suicide Prevention Coalition continues working

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Social media is playing a big role in the effort of the Jones County Suicide Prevention Coalition in reaching those who may be facing crisis situations.

The Sept. 30 meeting of the coalition was led by Augusta University Georgia Cancer Center Research Assistant Gina Hopf. The virtual meeting had 13 participants and began with a review of events supporting September as Suicide Prevention month.

Hopf reported that Facebook ads reached more than 15,000.

“We are happy with the number of people who saw the posts,” she said.

The speaker said an album is being created for videos and articles that can be shared. She said 57 additional people liked the page, which means all page content will appear on their individual Facebook feeds.

Hopf said the coalition now has an Instagram page, and all videos and photos from the Facebook page will also appear on Instagram.

Joy Carr is a local administrator of the page.

Hopf talked about community spotlights that were previously posted on the page. She said the four spotlights of local leaders were effective in reaching the community, and she invited more participants.

She also noted the posting of Suicide Prevention Month Proclamations from the Jones County Board of Commissioners and the mayor of the City of Gray.

Jordann Cohen with River Edge said the chalk art campaign and glow sticks for Suicide Prevention Month were a big hit with group participants. Cohen shared pictures of chalk art by group members that included creative ideas adorning parking and walking areas with supportive artwork and slogans.

“It was really successful. The participants loved doing it,” she said.

Kerisia Wasztyl with Navicent Health also shared chalk art pictures to be posted on the group’s website.

“We enjoyed doing it. It was lots of fun,” she said.

Wasztyl said a lot of the doctors and nurses who work at Navicent live in Jones County.

“They are invested, and this hits close to home for them,” she said.

Chris Pope who is forming the youth group Arrows and Shields said he would like to get them involved in community projects.

“I have kids willing to put the work in. I’m sorry we didn’t know about the chalk art,” he said.

Pope offered the group’s assistance with future projects.

Hopf said those plans are unknown because the cancellation of so many of the usual holiday events.

“How can we participate in the new normal?” she asked.

Carr said she is not sure what events would be going on in Jones County. She said she had a lot of bags of promotional items and information that were not used for last year’s Christmas parade.

Dr. Marlo Vernon said the contract for the Suicide Prevention grant renews in January, which would mean an infusion of resources.

“It’s never too early to start planning,” she said.