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Suicide Prevention Coalition holds annual awareness event

| September 24, 2018

Coshocton Mayor Steve Mercer read a proclamation declaring Sept. 22, 2018 Suicide Awareness/Prevention Day in Coshocton at the suicide coalition awareness event held that day at Hopewell School. Jen Jones | Beacon

COSHOCTON – The Coshocton Suicide Prevention Coalition expanded its annual awareness event by adding a car show and costumed characters. The event was held on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Hopewell School.

Leane Rohr and Jessica Paynter are co-chairs of the coalition. The car show was added as a way to bring more of the community to the event to hear about suicide and to lessen the stigma of talking about it.

Rohr said, “We wanted to draw more people from the community. The proceeds from the event are going to be used for our first Christmas project to help families who have been affected by suicide.”

She said they had about 20 cars for the car show, vendors, an art show, a 50/50 drawing and raffle prizes. The Cat in the Hat, Elmo and Mickey Mouse also made an appearance, thanks to Character Express who donated the costumes to the event.

“Don’t be afraid to ask someone if they are considering suicide,” said Rohr.  “Chances are, if you are concerned enough to ask, they have already been thinking about it – you asking the question isn’t going to give them the idea or make them do it.”

Some common warning signs of someone considering suicide are:

  • Giving away favorite possessions.
  • A noticeable change in their behavior
  • Depression (crying, insomnia, excessive sleep, appetite loss)
  • Inappropriate goodbyes
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Sudden happiness after a long depression
  • Obsession about death or talking about suicide
  • Deteriorating physical appearance or reckless actions.
  • Purchase of a gun or pills
  • Decline in performance at work, school or activities

If you suspect someone is considering suicide, here is a list of what not to do.

  • Do not leave the person alone, if you feel the risk to their safety is imminent.
  • Do not treat the threat lightly.
  • Do not act shocked or condemn their thoughts. They may not ask for help again.
  • Do not point out how much better off they are than others. This may increase feelings of guilt.
  • Do not swear yourself to secrecy.
  • Do not offer simple solutions.
  • Do not offer drugs or alcohol.
  • Do not judge.
  • Don’t try to counsel the person. Get help.

Rohr advises that Coshocton has several mental health agencies to turn to, but if you feel the threat is immediate, to call 911 or take the person to the emergency room right away.

Paynter thanked Sixth Street Tattoo for a large donation to the coalition. “They held an event in June and donated their proceeds – around $1,500 – to us.”

Mayor Steve Mercer, who shared his life has been touched by the threat of suicide, thanked the Suicide Prevention Coalition for everything they do to make the community more aware of suicide and to take the stigma of asking for help away.  He then read a Mayoral Proclamation designating Sept. 22, 2018 as Suicide Awareness/Prevention Day in Coshocton. “The more awareness we have, the more lives that can be saved,” said Mercer.

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