Williamson County holds the second highest suicide rate in Tennessee for juveniles ages 10-19 years old. Adults in this county struggle too, with more than 50 percent of suicides being individuals ages 35-64. In hopes of reducing the stigma of mental health and bringing awareness to this epidemic, The City of Franklin is working with the Find Hope Franklin initiative to present a special program on suicide prevention that will premiere on September 10th, which is World Suicide Prevention Day.
The program will premiere on Thursday, September 10 at 6:00 pm on the City of Franklin Facebook and Instagram channels and is hosted by Mayor Ken Moore and Franklin Police Chief Deb Faulkner. The program focuses on two Williamson County residents who survived a suicide attempt, and one local father who lost a teenage son to suicide. The program also features local mental health professionals: Amy Alexander, Director of the Refuge Center; Cindy Siler from Mercy Community Health Care; Tom Starling, President/CEO of Mental Health America of the Midsouth; and Sej West, Director of Volunteer Behavioral Health Care System. These experts will discuss mental health resources available in our community.
In 2019, Mayor Moore created a blue-ribbon panel to discuss the mental health crisis in Williamson County. From that panel, an initiative was formed called Find Hope Franklin. This initiative included the creation of the website www.findhopefranklin.com. On the website, people can find local resources to assist those dealing with mental health issues.
“My hope is that people of all ages will see this program and share it with others in our community to bring awareness to this growing epidemic in our community,” said Moore. “The website was created by our blue-ribbon panel of Williamson County’s finest professionals in mental health. The site offers local mental health resources if you need immediate care or other types of help.”
Faulkner added, “Psychological emergencies are the leading call for service for the Franklin Police Department. I am sworn to protect our citizens and the growing number of mental health issues in our community is very alarming.”
The program will premiere on the City’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityoffranklin and Instagram page at www.instagram.com/cityoffranklintn at 6:00 pm on Thursday September 10. After the premiere, the video will also be made available on the City’s YouTube channel.