As suicide rates continue to be of major concern across Tennessee and locally, Cumberland Mental Health Center, an agency of Volunteer Behavioral Health Care System, reported this week that a new tool is being employed to aid in the ongoing challenge of suicide prevention.
Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network has partnered with Crisis Text Line to create a service for all of Tennessee that is available to provide help for someone facing a suicide crisis by texting "TN 741-741."
Once the person seeking assistance sends a text message to the text address provided by the Crisis Text Line, that text will be received by a professional trained to help in suicide situations who in turn can provide information and resources to help the person sending the text in their local area.
According to TSPN, texting is a preferred means of communication for many young people who likely would text for help when facing a suicide crisis before calling the crisis hotline.
In announcing the program TSPN said the respondent to the person sending the text message and who is seeking help will be able to offer assistance for a number of issues including financial or legal problems, suicide, bullying, domestic violence or sexual assault.
Suicide rates in Tennessee have been among the nation's highest in recent years. In any given day, three people in Tennessee die by suicide, reports the TSPN in its 2016 annual review.
And perhaps just as alarming is the fact that as of 2014, suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people (ages 10-19) in Tennessee, with one person in this age group losing their life to suicide every week.
In addition, one person between the ages of 10-24 in Tennessee is lost to suicide every four days, and every day at least one person over the age of 45 dies as a result of suicide.
For more information about suicide prevention or issues involving suicide, contact Volunteer's 24-Hour Crisis Line at 1-800-704-2651.
For more information about all of the services VBHCS has to offer, contact the agency's customer service department at 1-877-567-6051 or visit the website at www.vbhcs.org.
Volunteer Behavioral Health Care System has provided prevention, treatment and recovery services for more than 40 years. As a leader in behavioral health care, VBHCS continues to be dedicated to the service of community members across Tennessee.