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World Suicide Prevention Week starts on Sept. 10th and lasts until Sept. 16th. Stacy Brown, Vice President of Behavioral Health Services at Bridgeway, urges people to talk about mental health, not just this week, but whenever they feel the need.

“Nobody ever hesitates to talk about their uncle, or their grandfather who has diabetes. They talk about that physical issue all the time, but people just do not talk about mental health issues, and suicide in particular. We need to start educating people. We need to start talking about it. And we need to start having people not be afraid to ask these tough questions,“ Brown said.

Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the United States, and the 2nd-leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds. Brown wants young people and people that work with young people to be aware of the signs and different things that may cause stress.

“New students just coming to college in general – how stressful that can be. You also don’t know what’s going on in their home life or personal life – a break up with a significant other, difficulties with their parents, starting a new experience and leaving their home for the first time. Just having that fear and that stress can lead to depression and anxiety,” she said.

There are a number of suicide awareness walks coming up in the surrounding area in the next few weeks. In Galesburg, the “Out of the Darkness” walk will be held at Lake Storey starting at noon on Sept. 16th. In Macomb on Sept. 23rd, another “Out of the Darkness” walk starts at 10:00 a.m. at Glenwood Park. On Oct. 8th in Kewanee, the “Let’s Talk” walk starts at noon at Windmont Park.

For more information regarding suicide, call 309-344-2323.

written by Jackson Kane

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