HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – September is National Suicide Prevention Month and individuals and organizations are trying to spread awareness any way they can. Sunday morning, Marshall University’s Counseling Center hosted a presentation during the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church’s morning service.
One in four people suffer from some sort of mental illness that could lead to suicidal thoughts. Sunday’s presentation, led by Dr. Candace Layne with the counseling center, featured speakers who have personally been affected by this struggle.
Doctor Layne says she experienced the tragic loss of one of her interns which led her to be more active in spreading awareness.
Experiencing a suicide from someone that I really cared for leaves a lasting impact on a person, so it really just drove my passion for awareness even more and getting the conversation out there and helping people to learn more.Dr. Candace Layne, Marshall University Counseling Center Director
Boyd County High School senior Dalton Hale also shared his personal experience after losing his cousin and best friend to suicide when he was 11-years-old. Hale says getting through that tough situation at such a young age was “really hard.”
Hale has since started a program called “Not Alone” which targets people who struggle with mental health by sharing others’ stories.
I interview people who have also had experiences with suicide and I also post information on posted videos to give people tools to help the ones they love or just people in general.Dalton Hale, BCHS senior
Dr. Layne says through events like this they can spread awareness and open up the conversation to ensure those who may have suicidal thoughts “know they’re not alone.”
For more information on suicide prevention and the official hotline, click here.