'Moms Demand Action' Advances the Conversation about Suicide PreventionPosted: Updated:
As part of the National Suicide Prevention Month, the Crozet chapter of Moms Demand Action hosted a meeting Saturday to speak up about a topic many people feel uncomfortable discussing.
The meeting focused on ways to help those suffering from mental health and to prevent gun-related suicides.
Sen. Creigh Deeds of Virginia's 25th District was in attendance. He commented, "We need to have more of a discussion about suicide prevention. It's a horrible thing that so many people and families go through and I'm determined to put a dent in that if we can."
"Many of us in this chapter have been directly impacted by suicide. Either a friend of family member has died this way so it's very personal to us and we know there are things we can do to prevent suicide," said Leanne Fox the Crozet chapter’s group lead.
Deeds spoke about how the state can assist the cause. “We're in the middle of a major reform in Virginia and honestly I feel we've made significant strides the last few years. We've still got a lot of work to do in the term of remaking the face of mental health care and public mental health care in Virginia."
Suicide is a crisis that demands more attention.
"Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people and so it's something that we all need to be thinking about and focused on and talking about. We need to be aware of the problems and more accepting of people. We need to make people feel comfortable in their own skin,” said Deeds.
Many suicide deaths are gun-related but with the help of others, the amount of lives lost can be decreased.
"There are so many people that struggle with mental illness and so many people who go through periods of crisis and there's a huge stillness associated with this and as community members and family members as friends. We can do things to help them and do things that will also prevent them from accessing a firearm in a moment of crisis and ultimately perhaps save their life," said Fox.
If you know anyone suffering from mental illness, visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ to see how you can find support or be an ally. Their Lifeline is open 24/7 to offer free and confidential support. Call 1-800-273-8255.