The National Alliance on Mental Illness says September is a time to raise awareness about suicide, a “stigmatized, often taboo, topic.” Some cities in north metro Atlanta are trying to
ATLANTA — September is nationally recognized as Suicide Prevention and Recovery Awareness Month. And, some cities in north metro Atlanta are reminding themselves of that.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness says September is a time to raise awareness about suicide, a “stigmatized, often taboo, topic.” Suicide was the 12th leading cause of death in 2020, claiming the lives of almost 46,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting database WISQARS.
Milton and Johns Creek city councils have made proclamations at recent meetings to raise awareness about mental health challenges. But, the cities’ initiatives to break down stigmas extend beyond September.
At the Sept. 7 Milton City Council meeting, Mayor Peyton Jamison declared September as Mental Wellness Month in the city. Since 2019, the City of Milton and the Alpharetta-based LRJ Foundation have partnered to provide educational programming about mental health throughout the community.
Teressa Ruspi Stann, LRJ Foundation co-founder and executive director, began the nonprofit after losing her brother to suicide in 2012.
While the foundation focuses on mental health in schools, Stann said that Milton’s efforts extend beyond the classroom.