World Suicide Prevention Day: Department of Mental Health aims to ‘shatter the silence’ on suicide

Dept. of Mental Health aims to ‘shatter the silence’ on suicide

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Tuesday was Suicide Prevention Day, a day Molly Portera and the Mississippi Department of Mental Health put together to help those in need.

“In 2017, we lost 447 Mississippians in our state to suicide and on average; that’s about one person every 20 hours,” said Portera, the department’s director of outreach.

Shatter the Silence is a suicide prevention program, providing resources for those with suicidal thoughts and their loved ones.

“The more that we talk about it, the more comfortable people feel with actually going and getting help," Portera said.

Purple and teal ribbons are worn during National Suicide Awareness Month. Teresa Mosley wore one Tuesday.

Mosley’s daughter Elizabeth was diagnosed with anxiety and depression in her early teens and it took over -- leading to Elizabeth taking her own life in 2006 at the age of 15.

“She was very rural governed, very much a people person, she was a jokester. Then all of a sudden, she started getting detentions, her grades started dropping," she said.

“At that moment, I just decided to not let her life be gone in vain," said Mosley, holding back tears. “I tell the Lord that I will speak whenever, to whomever, whenever I get the chance, because that’s just how I’ve worked through the grieving process.”

In her final days, Elizabeth started to seem happy, a mood change Mosley now realizes was a call for help.

“When they’ve been struggling and all of a sudden, things are much better. And I think it’s because I think at that point, they’ve made the decision that they can’t take it anymore,” said Mosley.

Through pins, speaking and the campaign, Mosley wants others to learn how to detect the problem and cope before it’s too late.

“Elizabeth didn’t have any coping skills, obviously. Because she could not see her way through this. tThis was the only way to stop the pain," she said.

Here are some resources if you or anyone else is seeking help. More are available on the Suicide Prevention Resource Center website.

Shatter the Silence SOURCE: MDMH
Shatter the Silence SOURCE: MDMH (Source: MDMH)

Copyright 2019 WLBT. All rights reserved.