Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX (Sept. 25, 2019) – Recognizing that suicide is one of the most disruptive and tragic events a family and community can experience, the Hays County Commissioners Court on Tuesday proclaimed September 2019 as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. More than 3,000 lives are lost to suicide in Texas each year.
Mental health advocate and County-Court-at-Law #3 Judge Tacie Zelhart read the proclamation, which encouraged all residents to take the time to inquire as to the well-being of their family, friends, and neighbors and to genuinely convey their appreciation for their existence by any gesture they deem appropriate. A simple phone call, message, handshake, or hug can go a long way towards helping someone realize that suicide is not the answer and that help is available – every member of our community should understand that throughout life’s struggles we all need occasional reminders that we are all silently fighting our own battles.
“I appreciate what you all do because I know it is a tough job,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe told the mental health advocates and caregivers in the room, many of whom wore shirts emblazoned with the words Stop the Stigma over Mental Health Awareness. “Thank you so much for the work that you do,” the Commissioner said.
Suicide is the 11th-leading cause of all deaths in Texas and the 2nd-leading cause of death for ages 15 to 34. One person dies by suicide every two hours in Texas. Each day in Texas there are nearly 30 hospitalizations for attempted suicide.
Nine out of 10 people who die from suicide have a mental health disorder and 95 percent of people with a mental health disorder do not die from suicide, indicating the complex nature of suicide and the need for a multi-faceted approach to prevention.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, or know someone who might be contemplating suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 1-800-273-8255; 1-800-7994889 deaf/hard of hearing; 1-888-628-9454 ayuda en Español.