TEMPLE, TX — The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Central Texas Chapter hosted a specialized training session for people helping in the fight against suicide.
"Talk Saves Lives: Training the Trainer" teaches advocates about how to better present the facts surrounding death by suicide through scientific-backed research. A session was hosted in a Temple municipal building Sunday.
“It definitely needs to be talked about more,” said Janet Sutton, a leader with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Central Texas Chapter. She lost her teenage son five years ago.
“I was always of the mindset, this happens to other families, this happens to other people, until it happened to us,” said Sutton. She says it is important for everyone to know the signs and offer support to those at risk.
"Not knowing where to turn before a suicide happens, I think, is not only something our community needs, but you know, as a nation," said Jennifer Warnick, who lost her mother. She is also an active participant in training sessions across Central Texas.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, rates of death by suicide have gone up year to year in the United States. Texas averages mirror the national growth. Additionally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that death by suicide increased 33 percent from 1999 to 2017.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention set a goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide by 20 percent by the year 2025. This would make it the lowest in 30 years.
For those in need of help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It is a network of crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.