Mental health advocates remind people of resources for National Suicide Prevention Month

Mental health advocates remind people of resources for National Suicide Prevention Month
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 6:22 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time to ensure people have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and seek help.

Emily Reidford with Easterseals Rehabilitation Center says she wants to remind people this month that their office offers support groups for those struggling, and even training classes that teach how to intervene with someone who might be considering suicide.

Reidford says suicide and mental health is a touchy subject and most people don’t realize how common it is in the Tri-State, but she says Evansville has the highest suicide rate in the state and in the country.

“Some people are very good at hiding their pain, hiding what they’re really going through, and putting on what they’re really going through and putting on this front of I’m okay, I’m strong,” says Reidford.

She says people can be so good at masking pain, but a mental health crisis shows no mercy, not even to a 12-year-old.

Brody Lofton, a seventh grader at Castle North Middle School, took his own life in September of 2016.

“He was just one of those kids who absolutely, we thought on the outside, had everything going for him. He was just the life of the party. He had tons of friends,” said Brody’s mother, Lori Lofton.

Lori says she had no idea that Brody was feeling so broken inside and she’s learning from this grief every day.

“If you are a suicide family that some member is suffering mentally, or just have depression, or whatever is going on with them, they do have a higher percentage of taking their own life if they’ve experienced it with their own family,” said Lori. “Unfortunately with Brody’s situation, he lost his dad. He took his life the same way his dad did, and I just wish that I would’ve had that knowledge back in time.”

Lori says she’s turning the two tragedies of losing Brody and his dad into something positive.

She’s now a board member for Youth First, a nonprofit that puts social workers in schools and she volunteers with the suicide prevention coalition to help expand resources in Southwestern Indiana.