Get the word out

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A recent Tidewater News story by staff writer Nicholas Langhorne brought to light a sad fact in Western Tidewater: There doesn’t seem to be enough suicide-prevention information readily available for area residents.

What about signs or pamphlets at the health department, government offices, hospitals, post offices, schools, libraries and other community establishments? Nursing students participating in a class assignment for Paul D. Camp Community College found those places and items woefully lacking.

Not willing to let things stand as is, the students started working to get more information out to the community.

They called hotlines and researched facts. They made posters with suicide-prevention information and hung them throughout the community. They became experts on free suicide-prevention resources.

Kudos to them. The service was definitely needed.

In Virginia, there were 872 suicide deaths in 2007. For every suicide death, there are countless others who unsuccessfully attempt to kill themselves.

Suicide is the 11th-leading cause of death among people of all ages and the third-leading cause among people between the ages of 10 and 24, Langhorne found.

Anyone having suicidal thoughts should call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK.