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Local Mom Wants to Raise Awareness for Suicide Prevention

“This is a bigger problem that what people realize.”

More than 900 people die from suicide in Tennessee each year and suicide is the third leading cause of death for young adults ages 15 to 24 in the state of Tennessee.

The Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department is teaming up with the Center for Disease Control and the Tennessee Department of Health for suicide prevention month.

Health Educator at the Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department says, “We are just hoping to bring more awareness to the fact that this is a bigger problem than people realize. And we shouldn’t just stop at september as being an awareness month.”

Although september is dedicated to raising awareness for suicide prevention one mom hopes that she can help year round.

“If there is anything I can do, if I can help one parent to not have to go through the journey we have had to go through”, says Melanie Hurst.

In December of 2017 Melanie Hurst lost her son Josiah Cooper Turner to suicide.

“Josiah was a joy.”

As Melanie goes through memories of Josiah she mentions how loved he was.

“He was loved by so many. I don’t think there is any possible way that he could have known just how many people he touched and how many truly loved him as a friend or a family member”, says Hurst.

Hurst urges parents to see the warning signs and not think their children are just being teenagers.

“So often we look at our teenagers and we think they are going to be distant or they are going to be grumpy or they are gonna have those days because that’s what the typical teenager is supposed to do.”

For 39 news… I'm Imani Williams.

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