SPARTA, NJ – A proclamation declaring September National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month was accepted by local residents Marjorie Strosahl, Jeri Doherty, Kathy Sheperd and Marianne Bayliss on behalf of National Alliance on Mental Health or NAMI.

On Tuesday night at the township council meeting Mayor Jerry Murphy read the proclamation that the goal is to help learn how to talk about suicide, without increasing risk of harm. 

According to the proclamation, “suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, race, orientation, income level, religion or background.”

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“I would like to sincerely thank the council for recognizing this,” Strosahl said.  “With COVID[-19] the number of suicides has increased and there has been a 65% increase in the number of calls to the NAMI help line.”

The CDC confirms each year more than 48,000 people die by suicide and it is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 34 and the 10th leading cause of death among adults.

Township Manager Bill Close also thanked the women for their role.  “They have brought a number of mental health issues to our attention.  We have added information about them to our website.

“Thank you for making sure this issue doesn’t get lost during COVID-19,” Close said.

The proclamation "encourages all residents to take the time to inquire as to the wellbeing of their family, friends and neighbors over the next few days and to genuinely convey their appreciation for their existence by any gesture they deem appropriate."  

"Give someone a hug," Murphy said.

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