(Camden, NJ) – On Saturday, Sept. 10, the Ben Franklin Bridge will glow teal, while City Hall and the James J. Florio Center for Public Service and the Triad Building will be lit in purple in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day. Camden County residents are also being asked to show their support by wearing teal or purple to remember a lost loved one and for the survivors of suicide.
“Too many Americans are lost each day to suicide. This is a tragedy that is now the second leading cause of death in children and adults between ages 10 and 34,” said Commissioner Virginia Betteridge, liaison to the Health Department. “On this World Suicide Prevention Day, we’re encouraging everyone to show their support and learn the signs of suicide so that they may be able to save a friend, family member, or neighbor.”
Camden County is observing National Suicide Prevention Week – a week-long campaign to educate the public about suicide prevention and the devasting reality of suicide in America – from Sept. 4 to Sept. 10.
“Suicide goes hand in hand with so many other factors including mental health, drug abuse, addiction, the availability of firearms and more,” Betteridge said. “It’s a tragedy that knows no bounds and can impact anyone from any background. But we know that it is preventable if we catch the signs and direct those at risk to the help they need. That’s why it’s so important to know the signs of suicide and what to do when you spot them.”
The CDC identifies several prominent warning signs for someone at risk of suicide, including:
- Expressing hopelessness;
- Threatening to hurt oneself or talking about wanting to die;
- Increasing alcohol and drug use; and,
- Withdrawing from friends and family
The Commissioner Board is reminding Camden County residents that help is never out of reach. On July 16, the U.S. successfully transitioned to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The easy-to-remember number to reach trained crisis counselors for help with suicide, mental health and substance use-related crises.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, or exhibiting warning signs of suicide, dial 988 or visit 988lifeline.org.
The Camden County Office of Mental Health and Addiction hosts informational events throughout the year on suicide prevention and risk reduction that are free and open to the public. For information on when the next event is being held or for other mental health and substance abuse related information, contact the office at (856) 374-6361.