The Upper Cumberland Region’s 16th annual Light of Hope event comes Tuesday as part of Suicide Awareness Month.
Michael Anderson is Regional Director for The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network. He said this event promotes healing for people who lost someone to suicide. Anderson said sharing this event in-person is critical to those effected.
“The ability to connect with others, to find out the resources that are available in our region,” Anderson said. “It’s very impactful for people and very meaningful for people, particularly if they’ve lost someone.”
Anderson said even with the pandemic, more people are reaching out to get help from suicide resources in the past year.
Anderson said the event starts at 6:00 PM on Tuesday night at the Cookeville Higher Education Campus. He said guests are being asked to wear a mask.
“It’s knocked us off our usual routines but in spite of that (pandemic) and in spite of some misunderstandings about some of the data that’s come out and some misconceptions about the takeaways,” Anderson said. “More people in the past year have reached out to places like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and that is very encouraging to me. Because while certainly we are in trying times, unprecedented times, people are being made aware of the resources, they are reaching out for help.”
Anderson said there will be local speaker, sharing their lived experiences. He said the speaker is presenting awards for efforts to bring awareness and connect people to resources.
“The message first and foremost is you’re never alone,” Anderson said. “It doesn’t matter where you’re at, what time of day, there are always resources, there are always ways to be connected and get help if people are struggling.”
Anderson said the Light of Hope event is a great opportunity for people to meet and get involved in efforts to spread awareness. Anderson said the two ways to connect with someone at any time includes:
Calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK
Texting TN to 741741