MERIDIAN, Idaho — According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.
To spread awareness, a local organization held an event in Meridian on Saturday. Around 200 people attended the event and participated in a costume contest, formal flag retirement presentation, an honor guard, and a 21-gun salute.
The event also featured speakers who shared their personal experiences with suicide and what life is like for those left behind after losing someone.
The One More Day program typically focuses on veterans, but the event over the weekend was for everyone in the community, according to Navy veteran David Conley.
“Our goal is to get our veterans in distress to reach out and give us one day to get them to the help to the next level of care," Conley said. "Whether that be a counselor or rehab center, VA inpatient, whatever it takes. We just want them to give us that day."
The program works with the Idaho National Guard as well as National Guards in 11 other states to create a more comprehensive suicide prevention program. All four of Idaho's congressional leaders are in support of the program.
Knowing the warning signs that appear in an individual who may be suicidal can be the difference between life and death, according to Conley.
Here are some signs to look out for:
- Withdrawing from spouse and kids
- Increased alcohol or drug abuse
- Changing the way they speak to a more permanent sense
- Missing work
To learn more about the one more day program, visit the group's Facebook page.
If you or someone you know needs help, the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24 hours a day at (208) 398-4357 or (800) 273-8255.
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