MOUNT VERNON — September is Suicide Prevention Month in this country. Unfortunately, September in Knox County has already seen one suicide.
Last week’s suicide of an MVNU student was the sixth completed suicide in Knox County this year, according to Knox County Coroner Dr. Jennifer Ogle.
Last year’s record number of 11 suicides in the county, prompted the reformation of the Knox County Suicide Prevention Coalition, which has gathered officials and community members from across the county to discuss plans for suicide prevention strategies in the county.
The dialogue, which coalition members started last year, has continued. New brochures with messages about suicide prevention, grief counseling, available resources for people suffering from mental illness, and recovery from loss, are now being distributed by the coalition through the Knox County Health Department, schools, doctor’s offices and other facilities.
Tonight, author and speaker Michelle Linn-Gust, Ph.D. will be speaking at MVNU at 6:30 in the Jetter Business Building. The event, which is open to the public, is appropriate for students and adults, and will provide useful information about suicide prevention, and practical help for those who have lost loved ones to suicide.
Kathy Watland of Hospice of Knox County helped organize Linn-Gust’s visit to Knox County, which will include speaking engagements across the county.
“Michelle is a national author and speaker, who will talk about suicide prevention and aftercare for the survivor,” Watland said.