Suicide awareness event held at Hopewell School

| September 23, 2019

Jessica Paynter, Jadn Lindig, and Leane Rohr hold ornaments in memory of someone who lost their life to suicide at the Fourth annual Coshocton County Suicide Coalition event held at Hopewell School on Sept. 21.

COSHOCTON – The Fourth annual Suicide Awareness Event was held on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Hopewell School. The event was sponsored by the Coshocton County Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Leane Rohr, co-chair of the event, said the event is to bring awareness to a topic some people still consider taboo. “We want people to know it’s okay to talk about suicide. It’s not an embarrassment – the more information we can get out to the public, the less shame there will be and hopefully, more people will seek help.”

The other co-chair, Jessica Paynter, said, “Suicide is everyone’s business. We want to bring more awareness and to help prevent suicide by sharing the warning signs so people can get help.”

If someone is considering suicide, they may show one or more of the following signs: Giving away favorite possessions, depression, inappropriate goodbyes, alcohol or drug abuse, sudden happiness after a long depression, decline in performance at work, school or other activities, deteriorating physical appearance or reckless actions. Seek help immediately if you see someone showing any of these signs.

Rohr and Paynter want everyone to take any talk of suicide seriously. Be direct and ask the person if they are considering suicide. Listen closely and don’t be judgmental about their feelings. Find professional help. Locally, the person can be taken to the emergency room if help is needed immediately. Allwell Behavior Services and Coshocton Behavioral Health Choices both offer “Walk-in Wednesdays” which means you don’t need an appointment – someone will see you that day.

Coshocton County Suicide Coalition information also gives advice on what not to do if you feel someone may be considering suicide: Never leave the person alone, do not judge, do not act shocked or point out how much better off that person is than others, do not swear to keep it a secret, do not argue and do not try to counsel the person yourself. Always seek professional help.

The awareness event included about 30 vendors, a car show, food truck and a visit from Minnie Mouse from Characters Express. It was also the first look at a new project the coalition is starting this year. A Christmas tree will be placed in Hopewell Industries with ornaments that honor and remember people lost to suicide.

For more information, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit the Coshocton Coalition’s Facebook page.

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