CAMDEN, NJ — In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day, Camden City Hall and the James J. Florio Center for Public Service will light up purple Tuesday night and stay the color through the end of the week. The Ben Franklin Bridge will also glow teal, another color associated with suicide prevention awareness.

The day of mindfulness falls into the larger National Suicide Prevention Week, a campaign running from Sunday, Sept. 8 to Saturday, Sept. 14 to educate the public about suicide prevention and the devastating reality of suicide in America.

Camden County residents are being asked to wear teal or purple in remembrance of lost loved ones and to show support for the survivors of suicide.

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“Tens of thousands of Americans die each year by suicide, a staggering figure that is only made more distressing by examining the demographics of those most affected. Today, suicide is the second leading cause of death in children and adults between ages 10 and 34,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Health Department. “On this World Suicide Prevention Day, we’re encouraging everyone to show their support and learn the signs of suicide so that they may be able to save a friend, family member, or neighbor.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, New Jersey has the second-lowest suicide death rate in the United States, but still loses 2.2 residents every day to suicide.

“Suicide is intertwined with so many other major issues — mental health, drug abuse and addiction, the availability of firearms — and it is a tragic reality that impacts families of every kind,” Rodriguez said. “But we know that it is preventable if we catch the signs and direct those at risk to the help they need. That’s why it’s so important to know the signs of suicide and what to do when you spot them.”

The CDC identifies several prominent warning signs for someone at risk of suicide. Among these are:

  • Expressing hopelessness
  • Threatening to hurt oneself or talking about wanting to die
  • Increasing alcohol and drug use
  • Withdrawing from friends and family

The Freeholder Board reminds county residents that there is always help nearby. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, or exhibiting warning signs of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or visit the lifeline online at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.

The Camden County Office of Mental Health and Addiction hosts informational events throughout the year on suicide prevention and risk reduction that are free and open to the public. For information on when the next event is being held, or for other information related to mental health and substance abuse, contact the office at (856) 374-6361.

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